The Maine Department of Transportation has given the Cousins River bridge on U.S. Route 1 between Yarmouth and Freeport a poor rating. The bridge is scheduled for replacement. Contributed / Maine DOT

Plans for a new Cousins River Bridge on U.S. Route 1 between Yarmouth and Freeport include a bicycle/pedestrian lane that will connect the Beth Condon Memorial Pathway to Freeport.

The bridge project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2025.

Yarmouth Town Engineer Steven Johnson said the added lane on the bridge, near the Muddy Rudder restaurant, has been a key goal for the pedestrian and bicyclist community in Yarmouth for some time now.

“(The town) is very happy this is happening because otherwise, that would be a very significant barrier to be able to have safe, bicycle, and pedestrian conveyance between the two communities. This is an important project,” Johnson said.

“The (Maine Department of Transportation) has been very forthcoming while working with the towns to make sure this connection is made. In this bridge design timeline, you’ll see the connectivity of this whole corridor from Portland Street into Freeport, which has been a long-term, high-priority goal here in Yarmouth,” he said.

Plans for the new Cousins River Bridge have been in the works since 2017. The bridge was built in 1930 and rehabilitated in 1953 and again in 1987 and does not support pedestrian or cyclist traffic. The Maine Department of Transportation gives it a condition rating of 4, or poor, because of the deterioration of the substructure, including its footings and foundation.


Replacing the bridge is more cost-effective than repairing it again, according to the engineering consulting firm of Hoyle Tanner, based in Yarmouth.

Final design for the project is scheduled to be completed by next summer, with bids going out by fall of 2023 and construction beginning soon after. Construction will continue into the summer of 2024 with two lanes of traffic, then continue in fall/winter 2024 with one lane of alternating two-way traffic. Construction should be finished by summer 2025.

The construction phases will allow the bridge to remain open during the work.

“The preferred traffic maintenance option will maintain two lanes of traffic during the busiest vehicular travel times of the year, May to November. A single lane of alternating two-way traffic will be maintained with traffic signals from November to May, with the exact duration of each phase being determined during final design,” Sean James, senior vice president of Hoyle Tanner, said in a presentation available on the Maine DOT website. 

The Federal Highway Administration and Maine DOT are funding the bridge, but because Yarmouth and Freeport specifically requested a wider infrastructure to include the pedestrian/bike lane, the towns will need to pay for that difference. That price tag was not yet known, Johnson said.

Yarmouth’s share could come from tax district financing, he said. The town also hopes to use some funding it received from the Condon family. When Beth Condon’s father, Carl, died, he granted “several pots of money, some meant to continue work on the path,” Johnson said. The exact amount or whether any of that funding would be used for the bridge is also uncertain at this point.


Yarmouth and Freeport will share the cost of bridge maintenance and upkeep. The two towns will meet in the near future to decide on the details of the cost-sharing, Johnson said.

The DOT is seeking public comment on this project until Oct. 5. The link for people to submit their thoughts is

For more information on the project, visit or and visit their current projects tab.

Rachel Vitello is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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