William A. Brillant, Member,Brunswick citizen Bill lives in Brunswick, grew up in the Topsham Heights area near the Swinging Bridge, and has fond memories of making it sway back and forth while on his way to visit his grandparents. Bill works as the Customer Service Manager for Downeast Energy. He is actively involved in numerous non-profit groups, including the Topsham Expresso Rotary Club (for which he has serves as Vice President). He is also on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Mid Coast Maine (where he most recently chaired the Basic Needs Council).
Nancy E. Randolph, Member, Topsham citizen Nancy operates Just Write Books publishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories and now offers consulting and coaching for writers. An active community member since 1986, Randolph served on the Topsham Board of Selectmen in the late 1980s and the Brunswick Town Council in the early 2000s. She co-chaired the rehabilitation effort of the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge and guided the planning and creation of two riverside parks at each end of the bridge. Along with two others, she founded, and continues to serve as a member of the board of directors for Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic bridge. Randolph coordinates the annual benefit 5K for the bridge.
Dorothy A. Riendeau, Member, Topsham citizen Dottie is a switchboard operator/receptionist at Wright-Pierce in Topsham and has been employed there since 2006. Mrs. Riendeau is a life-long resident of the Topsham Heights neighborhood. In addition to the many years in which she volunteered in the local schools attended by her children, she has in most recent years completed many fundraisers for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program as well as the Tedford Shelter with the cooperation and support of her employer and fellow employees. In 2012 she was voted Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Mid Coast Maine after being personally active in their fundraising campaigns since 2007.
The Maine Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) has determined that the Frank J. Wood Bridge (also known as the "Green Bridge") that links Main Street in Topsham to Maine Street in Brunswick and is a critical element of the Riverwalk, is in need of complete rehabilitation or replacement. In August 2016, Maine DOT posted a 25-ton weight limit for the bridge and undertook significant temporary repairs in November 2016 that closed one lane of the bridge - from Brunswick to Topsham - for several weeks. During that time, northbound traffic to Topsham was diverted to the Route 196 connector over the Merrymeeting Bridge.
Planning is under way for a more permanent solution. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) conducted a Section 106 review to determine the historic significance of the Frank J. Wood Bridge and the environmental impact (among other considerations) of various options, including a rehabilitation of the existing bridge and the construction of a new bridge. In the meantime, the Maine DOT has been developing preliminary designs for a new bridge that would be located slightly upstream of the current bridge, closer to the dam. Unlike the Frank J. Wood Bridge, which caused a realignment of Main Street in Topsham and of Maine Street in Brunswick in 1932, the proposed replacement will land at the same locations as the current bridge. On March 12, 2019, the FHA issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact" with regard to Maine DOT's proposal for a replacement on the curved upstream alignment. It was announced in the Federal Register on April 12, 2019.
A Design Advisory Committee comprised of citizens from Topsham and Brunswick provided input to the Maine DOT as it explored the feasibility of a potential replacement span. Click here for the "Preliminary Report on Design Recommendations" issued by that committee.
Unlike the Frank J. Wood Bridge, which caused a realignment of Main Street in Topsham and of Maine Street in Brunswick in 1932, the proposed replacement will land at the same locations as the current bridge. On March 12, 2019, the FHA issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact" with regard to Maine DOT's proposal for a replacement on the curved upstream alignment. It was announced in the Federal Register on April 12, 2019.
In addition to its planning for the Maine(e) Street Bridge, Maine DOT is conducting two other studies that will impact the Riverwalk. One is focused on the complex intersection of Maine Street between Fort Andross and Mason Street with access to and from Route One Northbound and Southbound, Fort Andross parking areas, and key streets connected to Mason Street: Federal Street and Water Street. The access to Route One Southbound runs beside the River on Mill Street. The second is a feasibility study for the Brunswick section of the Riverwalk that runs from the Main(e) Street Bridge to the Swinging Bridge for which a concept plan has been developed and can be found on the Riverwalk Photo Tour.
Owing to COVID-19 concerns, the Androscoggin Riverwalk public workshop scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, will be rescheduled to a date yet to be determined. We will publish information about the new date and time as soon as it becomes available.
Please join us for an
Androscoggin Riverwalk Public Workshop
Saturday, March 14, 2:30-4:00 at Fort Andross in Brunswick
Presentation on current status of planning for the Brunswick portion, followed by discussion and public comment Preceded by guided tours of the Riverwalk at 1:30 from the main entrance