Howland Opens New Bridge in 10.8 Million Dollar Project
Hundreds of people in Howland welcomed a new member to the community today. One they hope will stay for decades and bridge the gap between economic distress and prosperity.As folks in Howland take the first few steps across this new bridge over the Piscataquis River, town manager Jane Jones say the town itself is also taking a step into the future. “Anyone from Maine understands very clearly how important the infrastructure is to get about and around in the state. And how important it is for business to have good infrastructure in order to locate in a community and then to grow there.”The 10.8 million dollar project replaces another bridge that’s nearly 70 years old. It’s designed to make heavy truck travel safer. An added sidewalk for pedestrians and snowmobilers is also expected to drive more people to town.”It’s gonna help us out real good with bringing business – and then with the tannery project being torn down, hopefully that’s going to help us.”Construction crews have spent the last year-and-a-half working with community input to build the bridge.Among the suggestions, a roundabout at one end.”Never had one before and it’s a learning curve. But it’s something that’s designed to be safe and efficient and it was a very unusual intersection where all of the roads come together.”Work here also came together and wrapped up a month ahead of schedule, giving this eager town even more reason to celebrate. “It shows what it means to this community, to have this new structure, this new bridge in town and the excitement we saw today of it with the first people over the bridge the oldest citizen in the town and the newest citizen in town, it was just a great moment.”We’re told demolition on the old bridge is expected to start on Monday.It should wrap up in December.