Dec. 30, 2006: The $85 million Penobscot Narrows Bridge, which carries Route 1 across the Penobscot River and links the towns of Prospect and Verona Island, opens to traffic for the first time.

The cable-stayed 2,120-foot bridge features two 430-foot-tall towers, the western one of which contains the world’s highest public bridge observation deck.

Dave Milan, the economic development director for nearby Bucksport, tells the Bangor Daily News that in addition to being a means to cross the river, the bridge should attract tourists, because the enclosed observation deck is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Cianbro Corp., of Pittsfield, and Reed & Reed, of Woolwich, built the bridge in 42 months.

After a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, emergency vehicles crossed each side of the snow-laden span, with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

The structure replaced the 75-year-old Waldo-Hancock Bridge, which was later demolished.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at:


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