EDMUNDSTON (GNB) – A series of closures are planned for the Edmundston-Madawaska International Bridge to allow an engineering firm to conduct a thorough safety inspection of the structure.

This work is being led by Maine Department of Transportation and will be carried out from July 22 to 27, as well as on July 29 and 30. The closures will take place daily from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (AT).

The closure is required to assure the safety of the traveling public and border inspection forces on the bridge. The structure has known deficiencies, structural concerns, and a rapid rate of deterioration that need to be properly evaluated annually to allow for continued safe use.

The engineering firm performing the inspection, HNTB, is expected to use two Under Bridge Inspection Trucks starting Monday, July 22 through Friday, July 26 and a single such truck on Saturday, July 27; Monday, July 29; and Tuesday, July 30.

Bridge inspections are performed in daylight hours for reasons of safety, thoroughness, and quality of the inspection. The company performing the inspection is familiar with the structure and has performed a detailed analysis related to loading of the structure. Two inspection vehicles and crews will be used to minimize the length of the closure. They will be on separate spans of the structure during the inspection and not in motion. The inspection vehicles are allowed on the bridge as they will be placed in a manner to minimize stresses on the structure and operated in a way the contractor has considered in the load analysis. The current load posting is to protect the traveling public under various circumstances that cannot be controlled.

The bridge will be fully closed during the hours indicated, but the closure could be extended if necessary. The bridge will be open to traffic in alternating directions outside of those hours. The sidewalk will remain open with only minimal disruption during the inspection. The inspection is expected to be completed by July 31.