Saco River Gets New Bridge

By Joanne Ray | September 28, 2010

It will take two years to replace the 230-foot-long bridge that runs over the Saco River on a section of Route 302 in Bartlett, New Hampshire. According to job superintendent, Lester Downey, from R.M. Piper of Plymouth, N.H., the project started in the fall of 2006 and will be completed in the fall of 2008 at a cost of about $11 million. Piper was contracted to do the job by NHDOT.

In early April 2008, the project was well under way with 16 on the bridge crew.

"We removed the old bridge and put in a temporary bypass bridge," Downey said. "Now we are replacing it. When we removed the bridge we broke it up and took it to a pit, and local contractors use it. It gets recycled. The steel girders are sold for scrap."

Downey said that at this point in the project, crews are putting down deck panels and welding down shear studs that hold the final deck pour in place.

"In Bartlett we are also rebuilding a section of west side road that intersects with 302, which is also part of the project," Downey said. "And we replaced 1 mile of new 12-inch water line."

Downey said there will be 2 inches of asphalt on the bridge and 3-1/2 inches on the road. The asphalt will be a hot mix.

"The deck is pre-cast panel with 5-inch overlay. Then the asphalt will go on top," Downey said.

After this project is completed, the crew will move on to rebuild the 90-foot railroad bridge over the North Conway Scenic Railroad.