FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners Tuesday rejected two bids, each over $1 million, to replace the Luce Bridge over Quick Stream on Reed Road in Salem Township.

Twelve bid forms went out, seven bidders showed up at a meeting last year and only two submitted bids, Steven C. Govoni of Wentworth Partners & Associates in Skowhegan said during the commission meeting.

Wentworth Partners & Associates, an engineering and architectural firm, was hired to engineer the bridge and to get permits for the project, including from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was the lowest bidder for a contract price of $61,080 in July 2023.

The project went out to bid this year and prices for the bridge replacement were over $1 million, which was higher than anticipated.

The two companies that bid wouldn’t be able to do the project until 2025, Govoni said. Contractors were delayed last year because of emergency projects that needed to be done due to heavy rains and flooding in 2023.

Commissioners agreed to reject the two submitted bids and to solicit another round of bids.


There are three full-time residents who will need to be housed in a hotel or motel once the work begins, Govoni said. The company already looked at other options for housing. One of the residents has horses that need a lot of hay stockpiled.

Former county road supervisor Mike Pond said last year that the wooden abutments on the bridge were rotting, with the weight of the eye beams and concrete on top of the wood and decking causing the bridge to deteriorate.

The state limited the vehicle weight to 30 tons for two years, but when the concrete top was replaced previously under another road supervisor, it was not shored up with steel, Pond said in 2022.

The bridge is unsafe for heavy loads. Loads are limited to 30 tons and under, he said. An oil truck with a minimum load would be able to pass over it, but a loaded logging truck would not, Pond previously said.

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