Vehicles cross the Ticonic Bridge between Waterville and Winslow as workers complete high angle work while working on the bridge’s replacement project on Tuesday. Clinton Avenue and the town of Winslow are shown in the background. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — A two-week, temporary suspension of night work on the Ticonic Bridge during the holiday break will continue through Sunday, after which overnight work will resume on the structure.

Workers complete a high angle job while working Tuesday on the Ticonic Bridge replacement project between Waterville and Winslow. Clinton Avenue and the town of Winslow are shown in the background. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The cost to replace the bridge spanning the Kennebec River between Waterville and Winslow, including for design, construction and other work, is about $60 million, according to Paul Merrill, spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation. He said the project remains on schedule.

The three-year closure of the westbound lane of the bridge from Winslow west to Waterville is expected to continue until August 2026, allowing for the contractor, Cianbro, to build the upstream half of the new bridge.

Westbound traffic is being detoured south to the Carter Memorial Bridge and pedestrians are being detoured north to the Two Cent Bridge until the upstream half of the new bridge is complete. That upstream half is scheduled to be completed in April 2025.

Eastbound and westbound traffic is scheduled to be allowed over the new bridge by September 2026, and construction completion is planned for May 2027.

Merrill emphasized Thursday that during the bridge project, downtown Waterville businesses remain open and accessible. DOT officials have been working to ensure people know the businesses are open by installing signs, advertising and brainstorming other ways to raise awareness, he said.


Kimberly N. Lindlof, president and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, expressed concerns last August about downtown businesses being negatively impacted by the bridge lane closures, saying they were losing customer sales.

Lindlof said Thursday that she has been sitting in on meetings with the DOT, Cianbro, municipal officials and others to talk about what is going well and what could be improved. The chamber, she said, has been crafting and sharing emails called “Waterville Works” with others when DOT and Consolidated Communications officials send notices about upcoming traffic patterns, closures and other bridge-related matters.

“Mid-Maine Chamber and downtown businesses are thankful for the additional promotion and messaging that Maine Department of Transportation has been pushing out with its signage, over the radio and in the newspaper,” Lindlof said. “It all helps to encourage shoppers and diners — plus entertainment seekers — to venture to downtown Waterville to fulfill their needs.”

Merrill said Thursday that replacing the bridge is a big undertaking.

“It’s a years-long endeavor that will cost more than $50 million for construction alone,” he said in an email. “Parts of the existing bridge are more than a century old, so a new bridge is required to preserve the safety and reliability of the crossing. We understand that this work is having a big impact on the surrounding communities, and we know that there has been a lot of construction in Waterville and Winslow lately.”

He said the DOT is confident that the immediate inconveniences will be outweighed by the long-term benefits of the new bridge.


“That being said, we’ve been working to provide robust construction updates on our website, answer frequently asked questions, and amplify the message that downtown Waterville businesses are open,” Merrill said. “The department ran print and radio advertisements in the weeks before Christmas. We also met with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Colby College, and other stakeholders last month to ensure the lines of communication stay open. We know the full closure later this year will increase the traffic impacts, so we’ve already started strategizing about our public outreach efforts leading up to that.”

Construction updates are posted on the DOT website.

The bridge is being built one half at a time, according to the site.

“During construction, limiting the number of lanes on the bridge will be necessary to provide the space needed by the contractor to demolish the existing bridge and to build the new one,” it says.

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