oxford, Maine

Commissioners award bridge contract

by Matt Daigle Stff Writer Sun Journal June 6, 2017

PARIS — Oxford County commissioners voted 2-0 Friday afternoon to award a $91,300 contract to Jim Sysko and Andre Bernier to rebuild and maintain Ketchum Bridge in Riley Township.

The bridge that spans the Miles Notch Brook was designated a failing bridge by the Maine Department of Transportation in 2016.

County Administrator Scott Cole said the new bridge will be 39 feet long, 14 feet wide and made of steel and concrete. It will carry over 100,000 pounds and have a minimum life span of 50 years, he said.

Another feature of it will be a “massive concrete abutment placed on the west side of the bridge, where this is currently nothing but earth,” Cole said.

“The current bridge is actually an old railroad car, placed upside down with wooden decking,” Cole said. “It’s shaky and has been posted for a five-ton weight limit since 2014.”

Cole said that builders hope to start work on “the last week of June and finish in mid-August,” with “bridge closure time forecasted to run from late June through Labor Day weekend.”

“Property owners on the far side (of Miles Notch Brook) have been advised and are receptive,” Cole said.

Cole said half of the total cost is due now and the rest upon completion.

Sysko is a professional engineer who lives in Newry; Bernier is a concrete repair specialist who runs Andre's Construction on East Bethel Road in Bethel, Commissioner Steve Merrill said.