A worker looks down at excavation by construction company Cianbro Friday morning at the Ticonic Bridge between Waterville and Winslow. Workers have removed nearly all of the westbound side of the bridge as part of a three-year, $60 million replacement project that started about a year ago. Scott Monroe/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — About a year into a $60 million project to replace the Ticonic Bridge, the most visible sign of progress so far is more about what’s not there anymore, than what is.

Nearly all of the westbound side of the downtown bridge over the Kennebec River is now gone, while traffic continues to use the eastbound side to travel from Waterville into Winslow.

“Most of the westbound side has been removed,” Paul Merrill, spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, said Wednesday. “The new gantry crane helped with the removal of girders and structural steel, while workers continued to install rebar, formwork, and armor.”

The three-year project drew local concerns in August last year, after work ramped up to the point where the westbound side of the bridge was closed completely to traffic. Kimberly N. Lindlof, president and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, expressed concerns at the time about downtown businesses being negatively impacted by the bridge lane closures, saying they were losing customer sales.

In response, officials raised awareness about accessing downtown Waterville from other directions, including portable message signs announcing those businesses are open.

Work on the project is expected to continue until August 2026, allowing for the contractor, Pittsfield-based Cianbro, to build the upstream half of the new bridge.


In an email update Friday, the chamber noted construction activities for the coming week include continued concrete placement for Phase 1 pier pedestals; removing forms on the first lift of the pier seal; and continued removal of the steel girders and demolition/structural earth excavation.

Cianbro also anticipated continuing eastbound left lane closures on the Ticonic Bridge on various Monday-Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., depending on conditions. All sidewalks on the bridge are also closed for public safety, meaning pedestrians should detour across the Two Cent Bridge.

Cianbro also says pedestrians should not be walking around barricades, down the active lanes, in lane closures, or inside the work zone.

“Drivers are encouraged to drive cautiously, observe signage in the work zone, and reduce speed inside the work zone,” the chamber update stated. “Westbound travelers should continue to utilize the posted westbound detour,” which is south to the Carter Memorial Bridge.

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