Workers prepare the piers Monday for the new span crossing Cobboseecontee Stream in Gardiner. Reed & Reed plans to start sliding the new bridge onto Bridge Street this week. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

GARDINER — For decades, the Bridge Street bridge spanned Cobbosseecontee Stream, carrying traffic north to Augusta or south through downtown Gardiner or out to the interstate.

This week, after round-the-clock work, that bridge has been removed, leaving a gaping hole.

But sometime this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday, work will start to shift the prefabricated bridge deck made on site earlier this year onto the support structure for the new bridge.

“I think the people most excited about this will be the people who live downtown,” Mayor Patricia Hart said.

They’ll get a new bridge, and the construction, which has included overnight work to demolish the existing bridge, will end, Hart said.

On Monday, with snow spitting and leaves flying, workers from Reed & Reed and its subcontractors worked in tandem at the edge of the stream, digging earth and carrying it away to prepare for the next step in the process.


That’s expected to happen at 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to DOT spokesman Paul Merrill.

In February 2019, Reed & Reed, based in Woolwich, was awarded the bid to rebuild the two bridges at the north end of Gardiner’s downtown for $12.6 million.

A year ago, the Maine Avenue bridge was replaced, and a bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists was installed next to it as the first phase of the project.

Demolition is underway at the old bridge over Cobbosseecontee Stream on Bridge Street in this Oct. 23 photo in downtown Gardiner. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file Buy this Photo

Demolition on the existing Bridge Street bridge started last month and has been completed.

Even as this work goes on, the businesses in downtown Gardiner, with the exception of the A1 Diner, remain open during construction, and they are reaching out to their customers to tell them so, using Facebook and direct communication.

Gardiner city officials have also pushed out the message that while a stretch of Bridge Street is closed, downtown remains open.

Part of this project is also improvements to two Water Street intersections, including the one where Bridge Street turns into Brunswick Avenue. At that intersection, a right turn lane will be added to accommodate traffic heading west to Interstates 95 and 295.

“I think people are looking forward to the new flow of traffic,” Hart said.

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