Walls go up as bridge and entry port projects progress


The Madawaska McDonald walls have come down and the new land port of entry walls are being erected, moving the border crossing project forward.

MADAWASKA, Maine — The Madawaska McDonald walls have come down and the new land port of entry walls are being erected, moving the border crossing project forward.

After the General Services Administration announced in the fall 2019 that the federal government wanted to put a new land port of entry on the site where a 48-year-old McDonald’s restaurant stood, the building was officially demolished Thursday, April 7, to make way for the relocated border crossing.

In addition to the border crossing, comes the new international bridge being built over the Saint John River, which stretches between Madawaska and Edmundston, New Brunswick. The bridge is a collaborative project between independent contractor Reed & Reed of Woolwich and Greenfield Construction of New Brunswick, as well as the Maine and New Brunswick transportation departments.

With the ground now clear for the border crossing post, Paul Hughes, regional public affairs officer for the General Services Administration, said the next few weeks will include the installation of precast concrete wall panels for the two port buildings. . The project is on schedule with the planned schedule for the works.

Regarding the bridge, Andrew Lathe of the Maine Department of Transportation said a workhorse was pulled out of the water at preparation for the Saint John River melting ice. The easel is used to assemble the joints and concrete caps needed to build the five 60-foot-tall pillar shafts that the bridge will sit on when built.

So far, the construction team has not encountered any complications from ice or other environmental conditions, Lathe said.

“Currently the main contractor, Reed & Reed, is working on the new American abutment with the installation of formwork, reinforcing steel and concrete,” Lathe said. “Reed is also installing a cofferdam for Pier No. 1 on the US side.”

The 48-year-old McDonald’s site in Madawaska is now flat land, making way for the new land port of entry project on April 19. (Emily Jerkins | St. John Valley Times)

Pier #1 is higher on the embankment and not in the water – unlike Piers 2-5 which the contractor completed last fall/winter. On the Canadian side, Greenfield – Reed & Reed’s subcontractor – is installing micropiles that will support the new abutment extension near the Canadian port of entry, Lathe said.

The work trestle will be reinstalled above the water this spring and contractors will complete the abutments and pier caps on the Canadian and U.S. sides before installing the steel superstructure in late summer, Lathe said. .

The land port of entry is expected to be essentially complete and operational by the end of 2023, coinciding with the opening of the Maine Department of Transportation’s International Bridge Project. For now, the existing century-old bridge is used, although a 5-tonne bridge Weight Limit was imposed in 2017.


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