VHB's South Portland team recently won the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Maine's Grand Conceptor Engineering Excellence Award for the Route 1 over Main Street Bridge Replacement, completed for the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) in the Town of Yarmouth. The bridge replacement project was chosen for this award based on engineering quality, innovation, value, and client satisfaction. This is the second Grand Conceptor Engineering Excellence Award for VHB's South Portland office.
“The new Route 1 - Main Street Bridge exemplifies how a capable and creative engineering team such as VHB, a state transportation agency willing to listen to community concerns and aspirations and take them seriously as did MaineDOT, and an engaged community can collaborate to create an exemplary context-sensitive project of which all parties can be proud. Yarmouth is the beneficiary of this new bridge that will serve us well into the next century," said Alexander Jaegerman, Director of Planning & Development for the Town of Yarmouth.
Built in 1948, Yarmouth's Main Street Bridge was a prominent, beautiful, and signature structure in the heart of Yarmouth's historic village, but after several decades of service, the 64-year-old bridge began showing its age and required replacement. MaineDOT engaged VHB to design a cost-effective, durable, and low-maintenance replacement bridge that also addressed Yarmouth's vision for the project. The Town, through its Bridge Advisory Committee, identified two major goals: design a bridge that reinforced the traditional look and feel of the historic village; and connect existing vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian linkages to reflect the Town's Complete Streets policy, while also improving the continuity of the Beth Condon Memorial Pathway across Main Street.
Working closely with MaineDOT and the Bridge Advisory Committee, VHB provided a design that met both MaineDOT's and the Town's goals for the project. The new 3-span concrete arch bridge is a low-maintenance, durable structure that echoes the historic appearance of the original bridge. A new sidewalk and multi-use path improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and connectivity, and landscaping and lighting improvements enhance usability and appearance in this important area in the center of Yarmouth.
ACEC of Maine is an organization of engineering consulting firms whose mission is to contribute to economic viability and quality in Maine. Since 1988, ACEC of Maine has sponsored the Engineering Excellence Awards.