U.S. company gets contract to construct bridge linking northern N.B. to Maine

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The Maine and New Brunswick governments have awarded U.S. company Reed & Reed Inc. a contract to build a new bridge linking Edmundston to northern Maine. (Radio-Canada - image credit)
The Maine and New Brunswick governments have awarded U.S. company Reed & Reed Inc. a contract to build a new bridge linking Edmundston to northern Maine. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

A U.S. company has been awarded a tender to construct a replacement for an aging bridge linking Edmundston, N.B. to the community of Madawaska, Maine.

The winning bid came from Reed & Reed Inc., a Woolwich, Maine company, which proposed building the new Edmundston-Madawaska International Bridge at a cost of $86,532,251 US, said the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a news release Thursday. The bid was lower than the one submitted by its competitor, the department said.

The bid results in a total project cost increase of about $10.9 million more than previous estimates, the department said.

"Due to the size and complexity of this multi-year project, the governments of both Maine and New Brunswick have agreed to award the contract," the department said.

3 companies originally approved to bid

Maine's Department of Transportation is leading the project and advertised the contract on Dec. 23, 2020 and opened up bidding on Feb. 24.

Three companies had been pre-qualified to place bids, including Reed & Reed, Cianbro, also of Maine, and Caldwell & Ross of Fredericton.

Cianbro submitted a bid valued at $95 million US, while Caldwell & Ross didn't submit a bid.

According to the Government of New Brunswick, the current bridge is 100 years old and is approaching the end of its life, with its deck and superstructure in poor condition and showing signs of advanced deterioration.

The new bridge will be built on a new alignment, crossing the St. John River at about a 45-degree angle, and located about 420 metres upstream from the current bridge.

The angle across the St. John River will allow for the existing Canada Border Services Agency port of entry to be used, while the U.S. port of entry will be constructed at a new site a few hundred metres upriver.

The plan calls for building the new structure at an angle across the St. John River so the existing Canada Border Services Agency port of entry can be used, while the U.S. port of entry will be constructed at a new site a few hundred metres upriver.
The plan calls for building the new structure at an angle across the St. John River so the existing Canada Border Services Agency port of entry can be used, while the U.S. port of entry will be constructed at a new site a few hundred metres upriver.(Maine DOT)

"The new bridge will feature wider travel lanes and added shoulders on both sides," according to the news release.

"There will also be a raised sidewalk on the downstream side. The bridge will be constructed using steel girders supported on concrete substructures and is designed to last 100 years."

In 2019 the project received a $36-million US Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the release said. The U.S. Department of Transportation authorized another $15.7 million US toward Maine's Department of Transportation capital budget to be used for the project.

The remaining costs will be shared by the Maine and New Brunswick governments, the release said.

Bridge to be finished in spring 2025

Construction is expected to begin in April and the bridge is expected to be opened to traffic by 2024.

The estimated final completion date for the bridge is June 30, 2025 and the old bridge will be demolished once traffic is moved onto the new bridge, the release said.