Topsham riverbank and Summer Street houses from the Frank J. Wood Bridge
Main(e) Street Bridge Project
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.
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.