Reed & Reed wins Construction Contract for Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge Project

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has awarded an $86.5 million construction contract for the replacement of the Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge Project to Reed & Reed, Inc. of Woolwich. The construction phase of this project is the result of a productive collaboration between MaineDOT and the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (NBDTI). This project also involves detailed coordination with federal agencies in both the United States and Canada.

This project will replace the bridge that provides a critical connection between Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick. The current structure is 100 years old and approaching the end of its useful life. The bridge deck and superstructure are in poor condition and show signs of advanced deterioration. Since October 2017, the International Bridge has been posted at a five-ton weight limit, creating a significant detour. Furthermore, the existing building and site of the land port of entry on the U.S. side are substandard and need to be replaced.

The new bridge is 1825 feet long and will be constructed on a new alignment: it will cross the St. John River at an approximately 45-degree angle and be located approximately 1,400 feet upstream from the existing bridge. Because of this new alignment, the new structure will be nearly twice the length of the existing one. The new bridge will feature wider travel lanes and added shoulders on both sides. There will also be a raised sidewalk on the downstream side of the new bridge. The new bridge will be constructed using steel girders supported on concrete substructures and is designed to last 100 years.
The total project cost will be $97.5 million. In 2019, this project received a $36-million Infrastructure for Rebuilding American (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. The remaining costs are being shared by MaineDOT and NBDTI.

“The year-long challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare the importance of the connections between Maine and Canada,” said MaineDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note. “We are eager to move forward with this project to greatly improve one of these vital connection points. This new bridge will improve safety and support economic activities on both sides of the international border.”

“This international bridge is more than just a piece of infrastructure: it is an important link that brings communities and countries together,” said New Brunswick’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “This project will contribute to our priority of energizing the private sector by facilitating the movement of people and goods. This will allow our businesses to remain competitive while fostering economic growth in the region.”
Jackson Parker, CEO of Reed & Reed, Inc. said, “Reed & Reed is pleased to be rebuilding this critical link between families, communities, and nations. We will be looking to hire locally as much as possible. We have a long history of building bridges for MaineDOT, beginning in 1928 with a $1,676 contract to replace a bridge in Hermon. We are excited to begin work on this project.”

Construction work is expected to begin in May and the schedule shows opening the new bridge to traffic by the end of 2023. Demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to begin once traffic is moved onto the new bridge. The estimated final completion date of this project is June 30th, 2025.
Design and construction of the new land port of entry on the U.S. side is a separate project being administered by the U.S. General Services Administration.