SANFORD — In 2011, Alfred and Sanford began talking about solutions for the deteriorating Hay Brook bridge marking the boundary between the two communities at Stone Road, on the Alfred side, and Bernier Road on the Sanford side.

Four years later, the talks have commenced again. Sanford City Manager Steve Buck said the city’s Public Works Director, Matt Hill, is in the process of gathering new cost estimates for the project.

About 300 vehicles a day use the bridge, according to traffic counts prepared in 2011.

In 2012, both Sanford and Alfred signed a memorandum of understanding that shows the communities would split the cost of replacement equally. However, now officials in Alfred are looking at a state law that appears to indicate cost should be allocated in proportion to the last state valuation. Alfred selectman John Sylvester said that provision in state law was discovered by treasurer Fred Holt.

Buck, the Sanford City Manager, points to a different section of state law which states costs associated with spans over minor roads are to be shared equally.

Sylvester on Monday said Alfred hasn’t had a discussion on the matter.

In the meantime, neither Sanford or Alfred fire chiefs send heavy fire trucks over the bridge.

Alfred Fire Chief David Lord said Alfred ambulances don’t regularly cross it either, and use a different route, except in extreme medical emergencies.

Alfred selectmen in 2011 told their Sanford counterparts that an inspection of the bridge by the Maine Department of Transportation showed the bridge to be in poor condition, and estimated it would have 3-5 years remaining. A more recent look by DOT revealed it is in no worse condition than it was four years ago.

The bridge replacement wasn’t completed in 2012 for a couple of reasons ”“ including the economy at the time. As well, the towns had been working on the premise that the project would cost about $75,000 each, but that changed to about $110,000 or more each.

Buck said the two communities would get together and discuss the bridge once the estimates for replacement are available.

The bridge was originally constructed in 1940, according to the Maine Department of Transportation. Some work was completed on the decking a few years ago.

A July 27, 2009 state inspection rated the substructure condition, superstructure condition and channel condition all as poor. The approach to the bridge was termed satisfactory, while the deck condition at the time was rated as good.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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