Court sides with Maine over replacement of aging bridge

January 5, 2022 GMT

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — A federal court has sided with the state of Maine in a court case about whether to replace an aging bridge over the Androscoggin River between Brunswick and Topsham.

Some preservationists in Maine, calling themselves The Friends of Frank J. Wood Bridge, want to save and rehabilitate the bridge. The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled Tuesday in favor of Maine, which wants to replace the bridge, The Times Record reported.

The court is requiring one more factual finding in the case, the Maine Department of Transportation said in a statement. The department said it’s confident the finding will provide more evidence that “the villages of Brunswick and Topsham are going to be connected by a new, safer bridge that better serves all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.”

MaineDOT said it expects to be able to advertise for construction bids for a new bridge in spring. A bridge inspection is set for March, it said.

Members of The Friends of Frank J. Wood Bridge said they still believe the historic bridge should be rehabilitated instead of replaced.

“The bridge is historic and must be preserved if it is prudent and feasible to do so,” said Scott Hanson, a member of the group.