THE BATH VIADUCT construction project, as seen on Tuesday, is nearing completion. The replacement of the viaduct, which allows traffic on Route 1 to flow smoothly through Bath, is slated to be finished on the week of May 12.

THE BATH VIADUCT construction project, as seen on Tuesday, is nearing completion. The replacement of the viaduct, which allows traffic on Route 1 to flow smoothly through Bath, is slated to be finished on the week of May 12.

BATH

The Maine Department of Transportation is eyeing a mid-May opening of the Route 1 viaduct through Bath. The project, which began in November with the demolition of the original viaduct, was initially slated to be finished by Memorial Day weekend.

 

 

“We are on track to have the bridge open a couple weeks ahead of schedule,” said MDOT resident engineer Glenn Philbrook, site manager of the project. “We should be open by the week of May 12.”

Philbrook said there was a delay in construction after last week’s blizzard — mostly due to plow trucks needing room to plow snow in lanes that are normally closed for the viaduct project — but that it didn’t set them back much.

Constructed in 1958, the original viaduct took more than two years to build and carried Route 1 vehicle traffic over local streets and rail lines. Construction of the new viaduct, if completed on the current timeline, will have taken only six months.

After fastening rails and snow fencing onto the sides of viaduct and installing lighting, Philbrook said the next step will be connecting concrete sections to the underside of the structure to close up the openings there and give the viaduct more strength.

“We’re going to start putting them together the first of April, and the process should be complete by mid-April,” said Philbrook.

Once the underside of the bridge is complete, paving will begin in late April. Once paving is complete, the viaduct will be ready for use.

MDOT warned that in April, drivers should expect daily lane closures to be in place 24 hours a day. The exception is eastbound travel from 3-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and westbound travel from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Off-peak delays of estimated 3-5 minutes and peak hour delays 3-5 p.m. of 10-15 minutes should be expected.

An MDOT press release from earlier this year stated: “The project will result in significant improvements to pedestrian sidewalks, crosswalks, signage and lighting — important due to the growing popularity of Historic Downtown Bath. MaineDOT invites Bath area residents and drivers to stay informed about the project by visiting MaineDot.gov and by signing up for email alerts.”

“It’s been an exceptionally well run project,” said Philbrook. “I think people will be happy once it’s done.”

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