Last Friday at 10 a.m. the covered bridge that crosses the Presumpscot River and connects Gorham with Windham opened after much needed renovations. The original plan was to just replace openings left in the sides of the bridge from vehicle accidents and replacing the roof from which vandals would make access possible for diving off the span.
Half way through the project it was decided to install sheathing first behind the siding boards for extra strength and added damage protection, then install all new boards over that on both sides for aesthetics. The added use of cedar resulted in a good looking structure that should last a long time.
“With the changes the original price tag of $89,000 increased to $108,000, but well worth it,” a MDOT worker shared. “It’s up to the users of the bridge now how long the overall condition lasts.”
At 10:20 a.m. the first car drove across from the Gorham side. “It’s nice to see this done. They did a great job,” said the happy motorist who wished to remain anonymous. He also expressed concern regarding the history of vandals. “Last summer there was a surveillance camera placed high up on a tree by the Gorham Police Department. This was an effective deterrent. I don’t know why they took it down, but the moment they did the vandalism continued.”
“The covered bridge will remain unpainted so it can age naturally and gain that weathered look,” explained a representative from Doten Construction, Inc. of Freeport who worked on the project.
Babb’s Bridge is one of the few covered bridges left in New England.