The Maine Department of Transportation is scheduled to perform an inspection on the Frank J. Wood Bridge between Sept. 14-16.

The bridge carries Route 201 traffic between Brunswick and Topsham. The inspection will impact traffic between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day.

“Southbound traffic moving from Topsham to Brunswick will be able to cross the bridge. Northbound traffic from Brunswick to Topsham will be detoured to the Topsham Bypass and Route 196,” reads a statement from the MDOT.

The bridge was constructed in 1932. It is currently the subject of a multi-yearlong legal battle as a local group, known as The Friends of Frank J Wood Bridge, fight for its preservation.

“The Federal Highway Administration requires inspections of fracture critical bridges at least every two years,” MDOT states. “Because of the poor condition of the Frank J. Wood Bridge, MDOT engineers inspect it annually. The structure is scheduled to be replaced. The construction contract is scheduled to go out to bid later this year.”

Fracture critical bridges are bridges without redundancy so that if a single member within the bridge fails, a portion of or the entire bridge can fail, according to MDOT.

The National Bridge Inspection Standards define a fracture critical member as “a steel member in tension, or with a tension element, whose failure would probably cause a portion of or the entire bridge to collapse.”


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