The MDOT is resurfacing the Paul Davis Memorial Bridge in Bath that carries High Street over Leeman Highway. After construction wraps up in November, the new concrete is expected to last 15 to 20 years. Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Kersbergen

BATH — The Maine Department of Transportation began resurfacing the Paul Davis Memorial Bridge that stretches over Leeman Highway in Bath last month, but construction is expected to continue long after summer ends.

At about 120 feet long, the concrete bridge, built in 1947, carries High Street over Leeman Highway to connect the north and south ends of Bath. It also leads to a ramp onto the northbound side of Leeman Highway and is attached to an exit ramp on the southbound side of Leeman Highway.

An average of 8,000 cars drive over the bridge daily, according to MDOT traffic data.

Mackenzie Kersbergen, MDOT project manager, said the bridge needed to be resurfaced and “needed some attention.”

“Not only was the ride bad, but we were looking to strengthen and extend the service life of the bridge,” said Kersbergen. “After the project is done, the concrete is estimated to last another 15 to 20 years.”

Kersbergen said the bridge is inspected every two years and was considered safe, but ready to be resurfaced during its last inspection.


The $601,000 project, funded by both federal and state funds, began late last month and is expected to wrap up on Nov. 21, 2020.

Kersbergen said the project takes about four months because it’s being completed in stages, “which means the contractor has to do everything twice.”

“They remove the wearing surface and replace it for one side and then do it again all over again,” she said. “If the contractor is ready to move onto the other side, they have to wait because the concrete isn’t ready to be driven on yet. It’s the nature of the product we use.”

During construction, the bridge has been changed to a single lane one-way road for northbound drivers. Southbound drivers are being detoured around the bridge with the help of temporary traffic signals. Kersbergen said this is because DOT found more drivers travel northbound than southbound over the bridge, so limiting it to one-way traffic was “the lesser of two evils” compared to closing the bridge to all traffic.

Bath Public Works Director Lee Leiner said drivers can expect the bridge to remain a one-way road until mid-October.

“Detours are always a challenge and a pain for motorists, but I think the DOT did their homework,” said Leiner.

Leiner said he thinks traffic has been able to pass over the bridge easily without it backing up like it would if the bridge was limited to single lane one-way traffic that alternated direction based on temporary traffic signals.

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