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Bridge renovation will impact Somersworth traffic

SOMERSWORTH — Starting today, traffic patterns will change as a $2.4 million project to renovate the Route 9 bridge that serves as a major gateway between communities gets started.

The bridge repairs, being led by Maine officials, are one of three major projects to improve infrastructure in the city, according to Carol Martin, interim Public Works Director.

Martin said the city began improving drainage and utilities in the downtown area, which will continue when the ground thaws, while North Coast Railroad will upgrade the railroad crossing.

In January, Wyman and Simpson Inc. of Richmond, Maine, was selected by the Maine Department of Transportation to repair the bridge.

Although two lanes of traffic will continue to flow, as of today vehicles will only be able to turn right when traveling over the bridge from Somersworth to Berwick, Maine.

Martin said the bridge will close to all traffic as of April 11.

"It will be an inconvenience for a number of people," Martin said, adding area residents should find another way to cross over the Salmon Falls River, which divides the two states and the communities.

While this will increase the commutes for some residents, Martin said the closure will reduce the time required to conduct the project, which is expected to be completed by fall.

"They're doing it fairly quickly because they're closing down the bridge," Martin said.

"When it's complete, it will be a more attractive bridge as well as being functional," Martin said.

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