SOUTH BRISTOL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The little bridge in the town of South Bristol is worn out, and everyone agrees on that. But they haven't been able to agree on what the new bridge should look like, but an agreement now seems possible... and for a unusual reason.
Ask town selectman Chester Rice about the old swing bridge, and he leaves no doubt it needs to go. The bridge opens thousands of times a year, busiest in the summer when lobster boats compete with yachts in this narrow stretch of water called The Gut. The Maine DOT has wanted to replace it for at least eight years. But a number people...including many summer residents... have fought the plan, saying the DOT's design is just too big and too ugly. But many other people in town... including the selectmen..said function mattered more than form.
But even he admits the DOT's design..which came out last summer..looked pretty big in the small village.
But a few months ago the debate all changed. The people opposed to the design for the bridge literally put their money where their mouth is, hired their own engineers and came up with an alternative design. And the DOT likes it.
he DOT design used towers that would rise above the buildings. The alternative design keeps them much lower.
Van Note says their engineers are now coming up with a new plan..hoping to combine the best of both bridge designs .