The town of Yarmouth is replacing an aging pedestrian bridge on East Main Street. Kate Irish Collins / The Forecaster

YARMOUTH — The town is replacing the old wooden pedestrian bridge on East Main Street, which has reached the end of its useful life and is “structurally deficient,” according to town engineer Steven Johnson.

The project, which is slated to cost about $83,000, should be completed by late September barring any weather delays. The new bridge will be made of weathering steel with concrete abutments and include a prefabricated truss structure with wooden decking, Johnson said.

Work on the construction project began in mid-August and a temporary bridge has been put in place to provide continued access to Royal River Park, Main Street and other major walking corridors in town.

A temporary bridge provides pedestrian access to Royal River Park and Main Street. Kate Irish Collins / The Forecaster

Johnson said in addition to its condition, the pedestrian bridge required replacement because it was undersized. He believes the old bridge was put in place about 25 years ago to provide an alternative to people walking on the vehicular bridge, which he said is “quite narrow.”

He said the new bridge will be 7 feet wide and able to accommodate modern snow removal equipment. Johnson said weathering steel includes a special alloy that forms an initial layer of protection against corrosion.

The funding for the bridge project is coming from the Main Street Tax Increment Financing District, Johnson said. It was designed by Baker Design Consultants in Freeport and the general contractor on the job is Chesterfield Associates Inc. of Westport Island.

Johnson said it’s anticipated that the new bridge will provide at least 75 years of service, “hopefully more.”

He said the new prefabricated structure will likely arrive and be set sometime during the week of Sept. 9.

Johnson said East Elm Street will be closed to traffic for a short time when the bridge is delivered and put into place. However, the closure should last no more than a couple of hours and notice will be provided once a date and time are known.

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