The Maine Department of Transportation will present its plan to rehabilitate the Route 1 bridge in Yarmouth at a public hearing Tuesday.

The proposed $4.9 million project will replace the aging span over Main Street and include sidewalks on the bridge and ramps connecting the four-lane roadway to Yarmouth village, as well as street-level improvements such as lighting, plantings and seating under the new structure.

Residents discussed two years ago whether to rehabilitate the bridge or replace it with an at-ground intersection.

In a presentation to the Town Council in February, the Bridge Advisory Committee recommended building a three-span, cast-in-place, flat-arch bridge to replace the current structure.

The Maine DOT will gather feedback about its proposal during the public hearing, with a particular focus on local perceptions of the project. The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Log Cabin on Main Street.

But whatever feedback the department receives will not change the proposal substantially, said MDOT Senior Project Manager Leanne Timberlake. The department plans to put a contract out for the bridge work in early 2017 and begin construction after the Yarmouth Clam Festival in July that year.

The present bridge is reaching the end of its useful life and there are concerns about the condition of its superstructure, as well as falling concrete from the structure, Timberlake said.

Its replacement will look similar, but include more sidewalks and footpaths on the bridge and the approach ramps on its north side and lighting and other improvements. Some of the pedestrian improvements will be funded with about $257,750 from the town. The entire project, including engineering work, will cost $4.9 million, Timberlake said.

Traffic will continue on the bridge during construction but be reduced to two lanes, and construction will be suspended during the 2018 clam festival, Timberlake added. Business owners, at a public meeting last year, said they would prefer if both Route 1 and Main Street could remain open during construction.

Heavy trucks will have to be detoured off Main Street, however, because the scaffolding needed for the construction will reduce the clearance of the bridge.

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