The Maine Department of Transportation has announced a major project to replace a bridge over the Royal River on Route 100/202 in New Gloucester, 200 feet south of the Auburn line.
The estimated cost of the project is $6.9 million, with construction expected to begin in spring 2025 and conclude that fall. To the nonprofessional eye, the project would replace a large, tired, rusty culvert with a bridge-type bridge.
To share details about the Royal River Bridge project and collect public input, the MDOT has prepared an online ‘on-demand public meeting.’ It includes a video presentation, designs, maps, and more. It can be accessed online at this link or with your phone and this QR code:
An average of 8,750 vehicles currently travel the bridge daily, nine percent of them trucks, according to MDOT. Under their recommended plan, a temporary detour at the site would maintain two-way traffic with a speed limit of 35 mph.
MDOT writes: “We are particularly interested in learning local views, discovering local resources, and identifying local concerns and issues. Anyone interested can view the presentation at the above website (http://bit.ly/mainedot-meetings) or scan the QR Code with their smartphone for access.”
The project website has a “Leave a comment!” tab, and MDOT staff will reply. Comments so far include concerns for passage for fish and other aquatic and semiaquatic species, bike and pedestrian accommodations, and access for fishing and kayaking.
The public comment period ends Wednesday, February 21, 2024. Consider reading up and sharing your thoughts and questions.
— Joanne Cole