The Maine Department of Transportation said Monday that construction of the new Bath viaduct is about three weeks ahead of schedule, according to Glenn Philbrook, MDOT’s resident engineer for the $15 million project.

The viaduct has carried Route 1 traffic over the streets of downtown Bath since the late 1950s. More than 18,000 vehicles a day travel over it, according to the state.

“We are making good progress, as I’m sure people can see as the new viaduct is taking shape. The substructure work was completed earlier than planned, and we are moving right along in getting the superstructure in place,” Philbrook said in a statement issued Monday.

All 19 of the structure’s pier columns and pier caps were completed earlier than expected. Seventeen of the 20 superstructure sections are also in place.

Philbrook credited the work of contractors and stretches of good weather.

Philbrook thanked Bath area residents for their patience, adding, “We know this project is very disruptive to those living close to the viaduct. We really appreciate their patience during construction.”

The state said work on the viaduct is expected to be completed by Memorial Day after which the quarter-mile long section of Route 1 will reopen to two lanes after being closed for eight months.

Improvements are being made to pedestrian sidewalks, crosswalks, signage and lighting. The elevated structure is being rebuilt in place and will look much the same as it does now with the highest point being about 30 feet above Leeman Highway and Commercial Street.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]