The damaged I-295 Durham Road overpass in Brunswick. Courtesy of Maine DOT

The Durham Road Interstate-295 overpass in Brunswick that was struck on Dec. 7 by a trailer hauling an excavator underneath is now posted at a 30-ton limit for vehicles.

Following the incident, the bridge was restricted to a single lane of alternating traffic for around a month as engineers assessed the damage, which extended to three of the bridge’s four structural beams.

According to Maine Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Paul Merrill, the bridge will be replaced in the coming years, and the construction of a new overpass on Durham Road was already in the Maine DOT’s work plan prior to the crash.

Merrill said that the engineering work will likely start in early 2023, and a construction contract is likely to be advertised for bidders in 2025. The 262-foot long, 24-foot wide bridge was originally constructed in 1957 and was reconstructed in 2002, according to Maine DOT documents. It has a clearance of 14.5 feet.

According to the same documents, the average annual daily traffic count for the bridge is 4,212 vehicles, 5% of which are heavy trucks. The documents state that no significant impact is expected on the community due to the new weight restrictions.

In December, The Times Record reported that no injuries resulted from the crash. The northbound truck hauling the excavator was owned by Dick Holbrook & Son’s Inc. The driver was cited, and the company was issued a $325 ticket for operating with an expired annual inspection sticker on the truck and a $326 ticket for operating with a load extending over maximum allowed height.

Merrill said the Maine DOT will likely ask for between $30,000 to $50,000 from the responsible party’s insurer to cover the costs of personnel, traffic control and the engineering inspection. Maine DOT is not asking the insurer to pay for the bridge replacement.

Early estimates for the construction of a new bridge are in the range of $6 million, Merrill said.

In a December interview, Merrill told The Times Record that impacts on the Durham Road overpass have happened multiple times in the last several years. Merrill said in the same interview that statewide it is not uncommon that overpass bridges are hit, but most of the time there is no damage to the bridge.

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