Thanks to State funding, the oldest of less than a dozen remaining covered bridges in Maine, is once again being repaired. Over the years the 173-year-old iconic Babb’s Bridge has endured the elements, rose from the ashes of arson, survived a misdirected snow plow and most recently suffered damage from vandalism. Work began immediately on September 19th with a MDOT establishing and setting up detour routes. The following two days involved the assembly and placement of staging platforms to be spanned across the Presumpscot River to aid construction workers as they make the repairs.
“The repairs will involve roof and gable ends that need to be replaced along with side boards that were damaged by vandals. Doten Construction, Inc. of Freeport will be doing all the work. The Price tag for the project amounts to $89,000,” said DOT spokesman Ted Talbot. The rather large amount is a result of vandalism being added into the equation.
“The entire roof is being removed down to the bare rafters. A layer of sheathing will cover the boards which are the structural part that hold the rafters and the bridges covering together. Another layer will be added on top of that and cedar shakes on top of that. The excessive sheathing is what will prevent vandals from poking holes in the roof to gain access,” stated a Doten worker.
With nearly everything they need to complete their mission on site, one worker estimates, “there is an outside chance, depending on unforeseen circumstance, of the project being completed ahead of schedule.” While the work is ongoing the bridge is closed. The access road will remain open to local traffic on both ends.