Bakery Bridge opening to traffic May 25, will be four-way stop

Posted:  Monday, May 15, 2017 - 4:45pm

Story Location:
Washington and Mechanic Streets
Camden  Maine  04843
United States

CAMDEN — Work to overhaul the Baker Bridge on Washington Street, at the intersection of Mechanic Street, is nearing conclusion with a re-opening date of May 25 on the books. In addition, drivers familiar with the area will have to get used to stop signs in all four directions.

May 9, general contractors with CMP Constructors of Freeport were busy laying down pavement over the new 47-foot-long bridge they have been rebuilding since early January. Originally constructed in 1933, the bridge spans the Megunticook River as it passes beneath the Knox Mill building, among others, and Route 1 downtown before spilling into Camden Harbor.

Once the pavement was done, the construction crew would move to rebuilding the sidewalk and adding “Texas handrails,” which are made of steel.

When asked about the project, whether they had come across any majors issues, foreman Zane England said, “We’re just glad to be out of the water.”

The bridge is made of concrete, and sits on concrete abutments with a center pier. In 2014, the state Department of Transportation determined that the substructures had a satisfactory rating, but were scaling and spalling. That means that the cold weather freezing and thawing pattern causes the concrete capillaries to expand and create pressure so that the concrete begins to crack.

At a cost of $1.3 million, the bridge rebuild is being accompanied by power pole replacements and a $96,000 investment by the Town of Camden in relocating the sewer line that runs underneath the bridge. The pipe is encased in concrete, which in turn is incorporated in the concrete bridge abutments.

For those who have gotten used to the detours around and through the are of the bridge, when it finally opens to traffic, vehicles traveling southeast on Washington Street (Route 105) toward Mechanic Street will now have to stop at a new stop sign. Traffic crossing the intersection from the other three directions have long had stop signs, but the intersection will now be a four-way stop.

In case you forget the rules of how stop signs work, and what to do when you encounter another driver at one at the same time, here are some safety tips and laws extracted from the Maine Motorist Handbook:

Traffic Signs
A Stop Sign is red with white letters and has eight sides (octagon). When coming to one, stop before the crosswalk or stop line and do not cross it. If there is no crosswalk or stop line, stop at the point nearest the intersection to enable you to see approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. The stop must be made before any portion of your vehicle has entered the intersection. If it is a four -way stop, wait your turn. In any case you must wait until a safe interval occurs before moving.

If two cars enter an uncontrolled intersection at about the same time, yield to the car on your right. [This is also a good rule to follow when there is a stop sign]

Even though right-of-way rules have the force of law, a good driver never depends exclusively on them for safety. A driver who has the right of way should use it sensibly, never insist on it.

Pedestrians have the right of way. 

Reach Editorial Director Holly S. Edwards at; 207-706-6655