Falls Bridge to be closed for testing

The Falls Bridge in Blue Hill spans the reversing falls at the juncture of Blue Hill Bay and Salt Pond along State Route 175. — JAMES STRAUB

Motorists should plan on taking an alternate route to South Blue Hill and Brooklin and vice-versa during the daytime hours Monday, April 24 to Wednesday, April 26 as the Maine Department of Transportation is closing the Falls Bridge to do test borings. FILE PHOTO

BLUE HILL — The Maine Department of Transportation is closing the Falls Bridge for testing during daytime hours starting Monday, April 24, and ending either Wednesday, April 26, or Thursday, April 27.

“Their plan is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” said Blue Hill Selectman Jim Schatz. “They may need Thursday. It won’t be any longer than four days.”

“Closure should begin around  8 a.m.  after the morning bus route is complete and be open to through traffic around 4 p.m. each day after the drill rig is removed from the site,” said DOT Bridge Project Manager Andrew Lathe.

Lathe said the DOT will take borings on the north side of the bridge to learn more about backfill behind the existing walls, the depth to bedrock and the competency of the bedrock material.

This information for the south side of the bridge was gathered in 2010, Lathe said.

Brooklin Fire Chief Sam Friend said his department is planning to provide automatic aid for any emergencies in South Blue Hill during the bridge closure.

There is no information yet on what a replacement bridge for the aging span will look like or whether rehabilitation of the existing structure is possible. A committee charged with reviewing the possibilities began meeting earlier this month.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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