Built in the late 1950s, the Beals Island Bridge extends over Maine’s Moosabec Reach, providing an essential—and only—link connecting the island and Town of Beals to the mainland at Jonesport. When an underwater inspection revealed the bridge’s pier piles to be in poor condition at several locations, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) turned to VHB for help. VHB evaluated short- and long-term rehabilitation strategies and various bridge replacement alternatives, ultimately recommending replacement of the Beals Island Bridge.
VHB assisted MaineDOT’s pursuit of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant funding for the bridge replacement and provided the benefit-cost analysis to support the application, as well as assistance with the project and construction schedule. Having successfully been awarded more than $10.5M in TIGER funds for this project, we provided final design services for the replacement bridge. The new 1,062-foot structure consists of eight prestressed concrete girder spans supported by drilled shaft piers. Both composite and stainless-steel reinforcement were used in the concrete to achieve the desired 100-year design life for the new bridge. The project included an extensive public engagement process with the Jonesport and Beals communities, as well as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance. The completed bridge opened to traffic in July 2020.