Here is a big surprise. Maine DOT came out and declared their preferred solution is to demolish this extremely rare historic bridge. http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/05/06/news/hancock/mdot-eyes-replacement-of-falls-bridge-in-blue-hill/?ref=latest
Typical nonsense in the article, like claims a repair will only last 15 years. Unless the repair is to spit on the bridge and call it good, I don't know how even a poorly planned repair project could be so ineffective. They probably hired a consultant with no preservation experience but extensive new bridge experience. Like having a brain surgeon do quadruple heart bypass. Two completely different things. This is further suggested by claim new bridge would last 85-100 years. If they do build a new bridge, the DOT can let us know how that 85 year life thing is working 25 years after the bridge is built. Good luck with that. Maybe they get 50 years if it never snows in Maine. But last time I checked, it does occasionally snow in Maine during the winter.
Part of me wants to contact the DOT and try to work with them to convince them of the value of the bridge and find an effective rehab method that saves tax dollars and preserves this heritage for decades to come. But is it really worth the effort? They already demolished a nationally significant multi-span rainbow arch, one of the finest in the country. They are supporting demo of two different National Register Eligible state line vertical lift bridges all as part of one project. There aren't hardly any historic bridges left in the state. Why not let them go ahead and demolish every historic bridge in the state and earn the distinction of being the only state in the northeastern USA to have a historic bridge population comparable to Nevada, which is NOT a compliment.
This is very disappointing news indeed. I visited this bridge just a year ago and there is nothing structurally visibly wrong. It does not meet current width standards or sidewalk standards but to replace it with a UCB is a travesty.
A study to determine a preferred alternative to improve this crossing is underway. Even though there is nothing wrong with this bridge, Maine will probably demolish and replace this bridge.
Looking at this bridge, one might think this bridge is too amazing and historic to be replaced. However Maine demolished one of the largest rainbow arch bridges in the country a couple years ago, demonstrating the level of commitment this state has to historic bridges, even those of national significance.