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$1.6 million plan to reconstruct East Kingston bridge put on fast track

Union Leader Correspondent

June 14. 2018 12:40AM
Work is underway to reconstruct this bridge over train tracks on Route 107A in East Kingston. (Jason Schreiber)

Workers from CPM Constructors build prefabrication forms at the site of a major bridge project in East Kingston Wednesday afternoon. (Jason Schreiber)

EAST KINGSTON — Crews are going full steam ahead on a $1.6 million plan to rebuild a bridge over train tracks on Route 107A that’s been on the state’s “red list” since 2010.

The bridge is expected to be closed from June 19 to July 16 as CPM Constructors of Freeport, Maine, reconstructs the bridge superstructure and repairs the piers and abutments.

The state Department of Transportation project will address concerns about the bridge, which was built in 1937. The three-span bridge is 123 feet long and just over 32 feet wide.

DOT spokesman William Boynton said the bridge deck is in “serious condition.”

The bridge is one of 133 bridges on the state’s “red list.” Another 252 bridges are on a municipal “red list.”

Red listed bridges have deficiencies that require more frequent inspections because of their poor condition.

Dylan Simpson, project superintendent for CPM Constructors, said crews began working at the site three weeks ago to prepare for the bridge work, which he described as a “rapid replacement project” that takes an entire season’s work and consolidates it into four weeks.

The new bridge deck will be prefabricated so it’s ready to be installed once the old one is removed. Simpson said the bridge deck will be built from 12 pieces put together over the course of the month-long project.

Simpson said the last time work was performed on the bridge was in the 1970s.

Working on a bridge over train tracks can be tricky, but Simpson said the track’s owner, Pan Am Railways, will provide a flagger to let crews know when they need to stop work and start again due to passing trains.

Workers have been given a train schedule, but Simpson said freight trains are the only ones that aren’t scheduled, which makes the flagger’s role even more important.

Simpson said cranes will be used at the site, but they won’t be located near the tracks.

The 28-day closure will also force traffic to detour using routes 107 and 108.

“The detour should be able to handle traffic. As with any detour, it may be an inconvenience for some,” Boynton said, adding that approximately 2,400 vehicles travel the bridge each day.

Public Safety East Kingston Transportation

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