The Frank J. Wood Bridge between Topsham and Brunswick is slated for replacement. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

A routine inspection of the Frank J. Wood Bridge by the Maine Department of Transportation will cause traffic delays on Route 201 between Tuesday, Oct. 25 and Thursday, Oct. 27, according to a department press release.

Southbound traffic moving from Topsham to Brunswick will be able to cross the bridge, while Northbound traffic will be detoured to the Topsham Bypass along Route 196. Drivers should expect impacts between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on all three days.

While MaineDOT engineers normally conduct inspections every 24 months, the poor condition of the Frank J. Wood Bridge now demands inspections every six months, according to the release.

A lawsuit from Friends of Frank J. Wood Bridge, a citizen group interested in preserving the historic structure, has successfully delayed the bridge’s replacement for several years, during which time the estimated cost of three-year project has more than doubled from $13 million to $33.5 million, according to the MaineDOT.

Yet after a Federal Highway Administration draft finding this summer confirmed the cost of rehabilitating the existing bridge is far greater than replacing it, the path appears clear for the project to move forward, according to a department spokesperson. The department hopes to put the project out to bid in the next several months.

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