An image taken Thursday morning of one of the destroyed signs at The Fort Andross Mill Complex. Courtesy of Friends of Frank J. Wood Bridge

Signs calling for the preservation of the nearly 90-year-old green bridge between Brunswick and Topsham at the center of  a legal battle were vandalized in Brunswick and stolen from Topsham sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning, according to police.

The signs belonged to Friends of the Frank J. Wood Bridge. According to member Phinney White, the signs were posted at The Fort Andross Mill Complex on Maine Street in Brunswick. Each sign was 3 foot by 4 foot, and the signs cost $215.

Smaller lawn signs also were reported as stolen on the Topsham side of the bridge, according to Brunswick  Police Chief Scott Stewart. White said that an additional lawn sign on the Brunswick side was destroyed and other lawn signs on the Topsham side were also pulled up.

“These were heavy duty signs, they were a quarter inch thick solid PVC,” White said. “This looks like it took some sort of heavy duty cutting equipment to do what they did.”

White said that the damage was first discovered around 5 a.m. Thursday by mill employees. A police report was filed at around 10:30 a.m.

Brunswick police are investigating the case as vandalism and Topsham police are investigating it as a theft. There are no suspects yet.

John Graham, the organization’s director, said that a full survey has yet to be done, though he estimated there was between $800 and $1,000 worth of damage done. 

The signs read “#SaveTheFJWB.”

The Frank J. Wood Bridge was constructed in 1932 and carries Route 201 and Route 24 traffic over the Androscoggin River.

The Friends of the Frank J. Wood Bridge is involved in a legal battle with the Maine Department of Transportation over its plan to replace the nearly 89-year-old truss bridge.

“I have no idea who did it,” Graham said. “By taking all three of those signs, plus multiple signs from different locations, you have to assume it’s coordinated. I mean, It’s not an assumption, it’s coordinated. What their motivation is? You know, clearly they want a new bridge and don’t like the idea of preserving the old one.”

White said the group plans to put up new, larger signs to replace the damaged ones.

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