March 17, 2010

Design unveiled for new Veterans Bridge

By BETH QUIMBY, Staff Writer

Area residents will have some say about the sidewalks, landscaping and architectural details of a new $63 million Veterans Bridge between Portland and South Portland on Route 1.

The Department of Transportation unveiled its preliminary design for the new four-lane structure this morning at Mercy Hospital Fore River. Officials said there will be a series of meetings with the public to solicit ideas for the final design for the bridge.

The 18-month project, slated to begin this spring, could generate up to 1,700 jobs, among suppliers and the various contractors that will be involved, said David Cole, transportation commissioner.

The bridge will be slightly taller than the present structure and will include 12-foot wide bike and pedestrian paths and memorials to the five branches of the military.

Reed & Reed Inc., of Woolwich, the bridge contractor, will hold a job fair for construction workers at some point, said Jackson Parker, president.

The old bridge will be removed once the new bridge is complete. Officials said the impact on the 22,000 vehicles that use the bridge daily should be minimal since the old bridge will remain open through the project.

The adjacent railroad bridge will remain.

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