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Call For Business Owners- Your Support Needed For New Bridge

March 22, 2018

Plea for Business Owners to Be Heard on Frank J. Wood Bridge Replacement
Submitted By John Shattuck, Town of Topsham

Please save the date for what is expected to be the final public meeting on the Brunswick-Topsham bridge: 6pm WED 03-28 at Mt. Ararat High School

Many of you have expressed concern that the residents and business owners who support the replacement of the bridge have not had an opportunity to be heard due to the format, or focus, of past public meetings.  The format of next week’s meeting has been designed to ensure that all positions have a fair and equal opportunity to be heard.  So, please don’t miss this opportunity to speak up and make it clear that the small, but very vocal, group of advocates for continued, expensive rehabilitation of the existing, deteriorating bridge does not represent our communities’ consensus on the bridge project.

Please consider the following:

  • The life cycle costs of continued rehabilitation and repair of the existing bridge will cost at least $10M more than a replacement bridge.
  • The existing bridge would still need to be replaced – at even higher cost – at the end of the limited additional useful life resulting from repeated rehabilitations.
  • The lengthy closures required for repeated inspections and repairs for the existing bridge will create very substantial adverse impacts to local businesses, shoppers and commuters.
  • The new bridge will provide very significantly improved and safer transportation facilities for all users, including drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • The new bridge will not have a view-blocking superstructure, but will instead provide both those on the bridge, and those on shore, unobstructed views of our historic waterfront mills and the gorgeous natural environment of the river.
  • The recommendation of the Maine Department of Transportation that the existing bridge be replaced, is based upon years of careful consideration of all alternatives, including rehabilitation. 

A broad array of very diverse constituencies have already spoken out to support the replacing the existing bridge, and those that have passed formal resolutions supporting replacement include:

  • Topsham Lower Village Development Committee
  • Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber of Commerce
  • Brunswick Development Corporation
  • Topsham Development, Inc.
  • Topsham Board of Selectmen
  • Brunswick Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee
  • Bicycle Coalition of Maine

These groups include Town Committees appointed by the elected officers of Brunswick and Topsham, representing more than 20,000 residents of our communities, the Chamber representing hundreds of local business, as well as hundreds of advocates for improved, safer public infrastructure for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. 

For more information, please see the  2017-08-25  Design Advisory Committee Preliminary Report on Design Suggestions



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