Cianbro, the Louis Berger Group, and the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) joined hundreds of local residents in Howland Friday to celebrate the completion and opening of the new Howland Piscataquis Bridge. About 350 citizens were on hand to hear Cianbro's Northern New England Regional Vice President Charlie Cianchette congratulate the builders on a job well done.
"I first want to thank the team we had here building the job, I really appreciate what you’ve done here," said Charlie. "A safe job, a quality job, and what’s going to be a long lasting job. I'm very proud of the team and the partners who brought this project to completion. When you see hundreds of local people at the ribbon cutting for this bridge, you can see the enthusiasm the town has had for this project, and that brings great satisfaction to me."
The MDOT's Bridge Program Manager, Dave Sherlock, offered positive feedback in his remarks, stating that the Department was happy with the smooth collaboration between the State, Cianbro, Louis Berger and the townspeople of Howland. The Head Selectman in town, Glenn Brawn, added that it had been a positive experience working with Cianbro on the project.
The Cianbro team has been the design-builder for the design and construction of the new 582 foot bridge over the Piscataquis River, with the Louis Berger Group as the design partner. The project includes a haunched steel girder bridge with two in-water support piers along with roadway approaches, and a round-a-about. Additional work has included utility relocations, ROW mapping, appraisals, coordination of the work with the town of Howland and area businesses, and installation of a town skating rink. Cianbro is also in charge of the demolition of the old bridge. The work has been done while maintaining normal traffic in town.
After the speeches, three local citizens in their 90s rode in a Model-A Ford behind the Color Guard across the new span. Next came one of the youngest residents in the town, an infant who is only a few months old, followed by the hundreds of spectators who turned out for the event. Howland's Penobscot Valley High School band performed at the festivities.
Now that construction on the new bridge is complete, the next step in the project begins on Monday, namely: the demolition of the old bridge. Cianbro Project Engineer Andrew Hallett said the demolition is scheduled to be completed by mid-December.