Consulting firm says parts need replaced
POLAND — Two bids to begin restoring the 63-year-old Mauthe Bridge in Poland Municipal Forest were submitted to the forest board and village of Poland.
The board met at Village Hall last week to review the bids, with the lowest bid coming from Murphy Construction at $86,500.
Restoration of the bridge is needed because portions of it are in serious disrepair, according to results of a bridge inspection done by MS Consultants, Inc. In MS Consultant’s Inspection Report, it was recommended, “that the bridge be closed to pedestrian traffic due to its condition.” The bridge has been closed since July 2018.
According to the report, the floor of the bridge needs replaced because, “many of the wooden planks are warped and rotted and disconnected from the floor beams.” Also, “the floor beams, struts, and columns indicate section loss due to age and rust and are bent and misaligned.”
The report also cites, “rust-through and breakage of the suspension cable strands that support the bridge” and “misaligned and bent hangars that connect from the cables to the floor beams.”
“It’s a major project and it’s very sentimental because it’s named for the man who donated the bridge,” said Poland school board vice president Elinor Zedaker. That man who donated the materials was J.L. “Pete” Mauthe and the bridge was built in 1956.
Council member and forest board member, Samuel Moffie, thinks restoration will begin this Fall and he confirmed that $54,000 has been raised for the project.
Poland Mayor Tim Sicafuse, also echoed Zedaker’s point that the bridge is important to the community. “You think of the woods, you think of the green suspension bridge. People just love it.”