Maine bridge gets OK for heavy loads

| 11/28/2005

Got an overweight load? Traveling on Maine ’s Waldo-Hancock Bridge is about to get a little easier.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Maine Department of Transportation will increase the bridge’s current weight limit of 80,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds, thanks to a $4 million strengthening project during the past two years, the Bangor News reported.

According to The Boston Globe, the strengthening project – which involved adding reinforcement cables and developing new weight-monitoring technology – was implemented after it was discovered in July 2003 that the bridge could not safely handle heavy truck traffic.

Officials quickly reduced the 74-year-old bridge’s weight limit to 24,000 pounds after making the discovery two years ago. Before the upgrade, trucks were required to find alternate routes across the Penobscot River .

“With the exception of permitted overloads, this will allow all legal loads to use the bridge,” DOT Assistant Chief Engineer Chip Getchell told The Globe.