The Route 126 bridge over the Maine Turnpike will close for two weeks in late July to allow it to be raised.

The improvements to the overpass in West Gardiner are among nine bridge construction projects being conducted by the Maine Turnpike Authority this year.

Although state law and Maine Turnpike rules limit vehicle height to 13 feet 6 inches, and all overpasses provide that clearance, the bridge on Route 126, also known there as Lewiston Road, and others are sometimes struck by tall trucks.

“We have a long-term goal of raising all of our underpass bridges and our toll structures to minimize the impact of oversized vehicles,” Turnpike spokeswoman Erin Courtney said.

The bridges on Litchfield Road in Hallowell and West Road near the Litchfield-Bowdoin line also are being raised this year. The new clearance under the Route 126 overpass will be 15 feet, 6 inches.

The project also includes repairs to the bridge’s substructure and approaches.

Scott Construction won the contract to do the work on Route 126 with a bid of $878,266. The project is expected to be substantially completed by Nov. 15.

Work began in May with one-way alternating traffic.

A date to close the bridge has not been set, but Courtney said the two-week closure will probably start late enough in July that it will continue into August.

Approximately 4,300 vehicles per day travel over the Turnpike on Lewiston Road. Signs will direct drivers to a detour route along Spears Corner Road, High Street and West Hill Road.

The bridge was built in 1956, and its last major rehabilitation was in 1994.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

[email protected]

Twitter: @s_e_mcmillan


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