From the December 2, 2016 edition of The Scarborough Leader
By Michael Kelley, Staff Writer
Wentworth School was built and opened in 2014 to give third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students a better learning environment, but also to provide some community space for the public to use.
To that end, Scarborough Community Services uses space in the school for before and afterschool care, as well as a way for senior citizens to gather for socialization and games through the 55+ program. GymDandies, Scarborough’s famed children’s circus is headquartered from the school and a number of community groups use it for meeting space and other events.
The community-centric vision for the school also extends to the outdoor garden that fills a section of green space next to the playground.
Principal Kelly Crosby said the goal of garden is to offer much more than just a space where students can grow vegetables, flowers and other plants. The first phase of the project, which was completed last year, included the planting of the garden, as well as outfitting it with a shed, informational kiosk and picnic tables.
Phase 2 of the project, which recently got underway, includes transforming the space from simply a garden to an outdoor classroom. Since the garden opened last fall, many of the school’s teachers have been bringing their students to the garden for hands-on learning opportunities from math to science to art.
“There is no subject you can’t teach in the garden. You can do just about everything,” Karin Kelly, one of the garden’s organizers told the Leader last December.
Paul Koziell, a Wentworth parent and Chief Operating Officer of CPM Constructors, was on hand this week to deliver and install seven granite slabs the company donated to the school. The granite slabs will be used for an outdoor seating area where classes can come to learn in the garden.
“CPM’s involvement has really been an on-going commitment to the school,” Koziell said of his construction company, which has contributed money and served as a consultant for the garden project. Both he and fellow owner Tim Ouellette played an integral part in planning and designing the new school building, which opened in September 2014.
Wentworth teacher Catherine Hewitt, who teaches third-grade, fourth-grade and fifth-grade students, said the installation of the outdoor classroom space gels with a project she is working on with her professional learning team that is focused on “how kids use the outdoor environment and community as a classroom.”
The installation of the granite slabs, Hewitt said also ties into a unit she is working on with her students.
“We are studying Maine right now, so the granite is a pretty nice tie-in. We will be looking at this further and will be talking about how Maine uses granite,” said Hewitt, who is also one of the garden’s organizers.
Koziell, who served as the chairman of the Wentworth School Building Committee, said talk about a school garden was talked about when the committee’s work was finishing up.
“This is something I really believe in. I spearheaded the garden project at the Blue Point School when (my daughter) Sophia was there. My dad was a big gardener. It is important for the kids,” he said, adding that many lessons can be learned through the planning, construction, planting and farming stages of gardening.
He said his company was happy to do its part to help.
“Compaies like CPM should be doing things like this. We want to be good corporate citizens,” Koziell said. Aside from the granite donated this week, CPM has donated granite from a bridge construction project in Biddeford/Saco to the Scarborough Department of Public Works.
While the outdoor classroom is designed with Wentworth students in mind, it will also be made available to other schools and community groups to use.
“We really want this to become a community gathering space. We are already on our way,” Crosby said.
“We have picnic tables out there, but we hope this will be another place to meet or for people to go outside,” Hewitt said.
The outdoor classroom area is but one of Hewitt’s visions for the garden. She said she would like to see a fence along a raised bed constructed between the outdoor seating area and the informational kiosk by the garden gate. Students went out this week to plant hundreds of crocuses, alliums and daffodils along the raised bed.
The fence would be constructed to accommodate student artwork and would serve as a rotating gallery space for Wentworth artists. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers will work with fifth-grade students to design the fence. Portland Arts and Technology High School welding students will help with installation. Hewitt said an artist in residence will collaborate with students and create kinesthetic sculptures that move via wind or solar power. A bee hive-shaped outdoor pizza oven is also planned. Hewitt said she applied for a grant from SeedMoney (formerly Kitchen Gardeners International) to fund the pizza oven. If she is awarded grant, the hope is to use the pizza oven for community dinners.
“There are a lot of ways this project can reach the greater Scarborough community. It’s already making an impact in the school community,” Crosby said.
Hewitt said the garden yielded a “really good harvest” this fall and produce was donated to Scarborough Food Pantry and the Community Thanksgiving Dinner that was held last Thursday in the Wentworth School cafeteria.
Koziell, who as building committee chairman led a series of subcommittees through months of planning and design work, is proud of how the school turned out.
“It’s remarkable. The school is wonderful. I sometimes get to walk around the school at (parent-teacher) conferences and the building is in well taken care of. It is everything we wanted it to be,” he said.
From The Aroostook Republican
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
By Christopher Bouchard
STOCKHOLM -The Maine Department of Transportation is well involved in a $1.2 million project to upgrade the bridge on Main Street in Stockholm.
The project was awarded to CPM Constructors of Freeport, with subcontracting to Soderberg Construction of Caribou.
CPM Superintendent Allen Drake plans to have the bridge safe for driving by November 15, and then to continue in April of 2017 to finish up the cosmetic aspects.
‘We’ve put in a temporary bridge and plan on completely tearing out the old bridge,” said Drake. “We will be using steel beams, concrete, and then paving over it.”
Drake says the old bridge handrail was old and rotten, with a possibility of cars falling over if it were struck.
The superintendent will be assisted by three men in repairing the bridge while Soderberg helps with the earth work. “The town has been very cooperative, which is good,” said Drake. “They’re really good people to work with.”
According to Stockholm’s First Selectman Dave Sterris, this project has “been in the making for three years.”
‘The bridge is over 80 years old,” said Sterris. “CPM will be working in conjunction with the DOT, who have a command post at the school and oversee the project.”
Since the project is funded by MOOT, it will not directly affect the town’s mill rate.
“Any construction affects taxpayers in the state,” said Sterris. ‘We’re all paying for it indirectly.” Both Sterris and Drake hope to see the bridge completed by mid-November.
‘They started tearing out the old bridge this spring, and hopefully the new one will be installed before the snow flies,” Sterris said.
The first selectman says all is going well with the project so far, and that everything is falling in line with the schedule.
‘The only complaint I’ve received is that there isn’t a Swedish flag flying above the bridge,” Sterris joked.
By Johanna S. Billings, Bangor Daily News Staff
EASTPORT, Maine — A $14.95 million reconstruction of the Eastport breakwater, a portion of which collapsed in December, has begun.
“One of the first things they had to do was move a winter’s worth of snow,” Chris Gardner, Eastport Port Authority executive director, said Friday.
A large portion of the deteriorating 400-foot-long L-shaped breakwater and pier collapsed on Dec. 4, injuring one man, sinking one boat and damaging others. The reconstruction project is expected to take 18 to 24 months.
Gardner hopes tourists will be interested in coming to see the reconstruction project instead of staying away because the facility is closed.
“We’re intrigued by construction,” he said. “It’s not about what we’ve lost. It’s going to be about what we’re getting.”
The breakwater and pier, which are owned by the city and managed by the Eastport Port Authority, are vital to the local economy, providing deep-water berthing for cruise ships, cargo vessels, fishing boats, yachts, and U.S. Navy and Coast Guard boats.
Because the structure also protect’s Eastport’s inner harbor and marina, it’s referred to as a breakwater.
It was built in 1962 and expected to have a 20-year life. In 1982, an engineering review determined the breakwater to be in good condition and an addition was completed in 1985, Gardner said.
But in 2010, officials began to push for a plan to rebuild the structure as it began to show signs of wear. In 2012, a failure on the north side of the facility focused attention “like a laser” on the need for refurbishing.
“We recognized we were on borrowed time,” Gardner said.
The port authority received a $6 million federal grant along with $7 million from the state for the reconstruction project. Another $2 million will come from the income of the Eastport Port Authority.
Gardner said the breakwater collapsed just 12 to 14 days after the port authority put the redesign and reconstruction project out to bid.
“If we had started this the morning of the collapse, we’d be four years from getting the money together,” Gardner said.
Reconstruction will include removal of the collapsed portion of the breakwater, which is situated in front of the 1985 addition. The collapsed portion will be replaced with a 50-foot-by-400-foot piece to be built on the outside of the addition, thus expanding the inner part of the harbor and making the boat mooring area 20,000 square feet larger, Gardner said.
In 1962, the facility was built using sheets of metal that were pile driven into the harbor floor to create boxes that were filled with stone and dirt. Then the top of those boxes was paved over, creating a driveable surface and parking area, according to Gardner.
But over time the sheet metal corroded, which led to interior parts of the breakwater collapsing in December, dumping the rocks and dirt into the inner harbor.
In contrast, modern construction practices involve steel pipes driven at intervals into the ocean floor and filled with concrete. A concrete deck is then built atop the supports. That leaves under the structure open for fish instead of taking away the ocean floor.
The construction project also will use composite materials in place of steel in some parts. Composites, made mostly of plastic, don’t rot or rust, Gardner said.
“The decay of steel in the salt water certainly isn’t hard to understand,” he said.
Gardner said he isn’t certain whether the facility will be able to be used during construction. The contractor, CPM of Freeport, is certainly willing to consider it.
“They have said as construction goes on, they’re open to taking a look at whether we can press parts of this back into service,” he said. “I cannot say enough about CPM.”
CPM is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, which uses a portion of the facility for its search and rescue vessels, to keep it working and active.
“The Coast Guard is an irreplaceable asset that we must have,” Gardner said.
In the meantime, the city has asked the port authority to take over a 200-foot fishing pier, which is visible from the breakwater.
“We’re having a full engineering review on that,” Gardner said, adding the pier is 20 years younger than the breakwater. The north side of the pier will be used for tourism such as the town’s whale watch vessel, as well as personal boats. Fishing boats will be moored to the southern side.
“We need to do our best to allow everybody to keep a couple oars in the water,” Gardner said.
The breakwater is considered vital to the economic health of the region and its collapse left the fishing fleet without a home.
The fishermen have essentially scattered, mooring their boats in various locations throughout the region.
“I have to give great kudos to the fishermen,” Gardner said, adding they “went to work to come up with their own solutions.”
Construction companies are among the beneficiaries of a firm that hires recently released inmates, immigrants and others who are ‘perpetually stuck.’
By Edward D. Murphy Staff Writer, Portland Press Herald, January 22, 2015
firstname.lastname@example.org | 207-791-6465
Building bridges is a metaphor that Margo Walsh applies liberally.
MaineWorks, the company Walsh started in 2010, hires recently released felons, immigrants and others who face hurdles in getting jobs. Other companies – primarily in construction – hire MaineWorks employees for projects, like the reconstruction job that CPM Constructors of Freeport is tackling on the Maine Turnpike in Falmouth.
And Walsh is hoping to have MaineWorks gain an even stronger hold in the construction industry and create more bridges: for her employees from jail to work, for her company to contractors and for a group of people who have a hard time reconnecting to broader society.
“This population is stuck, perpetually stuck,” she said.
Walsh’s inspiration came from a speech given in Portland in 2010 by attorney F. Lee Bailey, who has long urged society to give felons a second chance.
“When they get done with paying that debt to society, they shouldn’t have to perpetually pay that debt to society,” Walsh said.
Since starting the business, she has expanded the group she seeks to help to include “new Americans,” immigrants who can legally work as they seek citizenship, but often find employers are unwilling to take them on.
Walsh has a group of contractors who have found her company’s workers valuable. Since they are Walsh’s employees – she pays her workers about $15-$20 an hour, and her clients pay her company $18 to $25 an hour – Walsh takes on most of the headaches. MaineWorks pays the payroll taxes, the workers’ compensation insurance and the unemployment taxes.
That makes the workers attractive to companies like family-owned CPM Constructors.
Tim Ouellette, the company’s chief financial officer, said he uses MaineWorks employees because it means the company doesn’t have to lay off workers when work slows in the winter.
There have been a few problems, like a worker not showing up on time, Ouellette said, but no more so than with their own employees and “nothing that has deterred us.”
Ouellette, who was recently elected president of Associated General Contractors of Maine, said a theme of the trade group’s annual meeting next week will be improving Maine’s workforce. MaineWorks, he said, helps improve and expand the workforce with workers who can be trained for more skilled positions as they work.
Ouellette said a CPM Constructors’ employee who started out with MaineWorks is being trained this week to become a crane operator, one of the industry’s critical jobs.
Ouellette has hired other MaineWorks employees, like George Sullivan, who worked for MaineWorks for two months while on probation and was hired by CPM three years ago.
Sullivan was in a halfway house when Walsh hired him. His attempts to find work elsewhere had failed.
“It’s hard every day, hearing there’s another job you don’t qualify for,” Sullivan said, but since CPM Constructors took him on full time, he’s been able to buy a house.
“Margo’s a saint,” he said of Walsh.
Other CPM Constructors’ employees said the workers that come from MaineWorks are hard-working. Joanna Vining, a CPM Constructors carpenter, said she and her husband hired one of the workers to help them build a room around their hot tub a couple of years ago.
“They’re some good people in need of a second chance,” she said.
Walsh said the idea for her business took hold when she volunteered at the Cumberland County Jail providing substance-abuse recovery services. She was attracted to working at the jail because the people there offer the greatest opportunity for change. That experience and Bailey’s call to give felons second chances, she said, led directly to her company, originally called Maine Day Labor Inc.
Her passion for the company is matched by her head for business. Revenue has grown from $240,000 her first year in business to $1.5 million in 2014, Walsh said. The number of people she employs also has risen, from an average of 15 to 40.
The firm’s commitment is obvious in other ways, too.
MaineWorks has a program called WorkWell for employees needing various kinds of help – from getting a driver’s license to dealing with mental or physical health issues, child care, housing and financial planning, she said.
When Walsh stopped by the Maine Turnpike project Wednesday there were plenty of hugs from current MaineWorks employees as well as CPM Constructors’ workers who had started out with Walsh’s company.
Then they went back to the job: building a bridge – literally this time.
Dozens of businesses donate time and materials to help two homeowners facing an $85,000 bill after a storm took out part of their private road.
By Matt Byrne, Portland Press Herald, September 23, 2014
Elizabeth Toothaker received an early Christmas present this year, and it arrived by the truckload: 700 cubic yards of dirt, sand and rock, enough to fill 50 dump trucks.
Contractors and businesses from around the state rallied behind Toothaker and her neighbor, Arleen Siegert-Young, to rebuild a dirt road that leads to their homes on Turkey Ridge Lane in Freeport. The private road, the only way to get to or from their houses, washed out last month during a record downpour. Fixing it would have cost $85,000, a financially crippling sum for Toothaker and Siegert-Young, whose homes are assessed at less than $150,000 and $215,000, respectively.
“This is a huge Christmas present,” Toothaker said. “This is at least a $50,000 or $100,000 gift. Who does that?”
Although nearly two dozen companies ultimately banded together to rebuild the road, it was Andy Kittredge, a project manager at Freeport’s CPM Constructors, who saw media accounts of Toothaker’s plight and offered to help. He didn’t make any immediate promises, Toothaker recalled.
“He said he couldn’t guarantee anything, but to give him a chance,” she said. “We of course didn’t have much of a choice. So we said, ‘Please, try.’ ”
Kittredge spent three weeks reaching out to fellow contractors and business associates who could donate time, labor and materials.
“When we saw the devastation over there first-hand … it was obviously a huge expense for these two people,” said Bob Walton, a project manager at Ray Labbe & Sons of Brunswick, whose company provided the 700 cubic yards of fill and trucked it from their yard about five miles away. “I think they were kind of at a dead end.”
The road that washed out spans a small gully and a stream. The old road went over a 4-foot-diameter culvert that allowed the stream to pass through. But when 6.5 inches of rain fell in a matter of hours between Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, the creek swelled and the culvert was likely blocked by debris. A second, 3-foot-diameter relief pipe was quickly overwhelmed as well, and the water backed up behind the road before washing it away sometime during the night.
Toothaker and Siegert-Young awoke the next morning to find they were all but stranded at their wooded homes.
Other roads in town were damaged in the storm, but public money, through the town or the state, cannot be used to rebuild a private way, leaving Toothaker scrambling. A friend started an online crowd funding campaign, drawing media attention.
Then, a call from Kittredge.
Although Kittredge said the project wasn’t complex, it did require some technical know-how. That was donated by engineering firm E.J. Prescott, which was working with CPM on rebuilding the Martin’s Point Bridge between Portland and Falmouth.
Kittredge said the engineers recommended a bigger culvert – 6 feet in diameter, which they then donated to the project. A second culvert, recovered from the old road, was installed as well as a relief pipe.
Doug Tourtelotte Excavation, of Bowdoinham, donated a bulldozer and a truck to grade the fill, and Main Line Fence completed a guardrail on Monday.
Toothaker did not get her hopes up that Kittredge would come through until dump trucks began arriving at her home last week.
“You prepare yourself for the worst and you kind of deal with it,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get an outpouring from all these companies, and certainly didn’t expect one guy to step up. I don’t know what I can do to pay these companies back.”
WGME-TV Channel 13, September 18, 2014
FREEPORT (WGME) — A community is rallying around two homeowners in Freeport after the road to their homes was washed out by flash flooding.
Last month those homeowners found out it would cost up to $100,000 to fix the road. A cost neither of the families could afford.
That’s when a local contractor came forward to rally other area businesses to step up, and they have, in a big way.
“It’s amazing to see the industry come together, people that we compete with, people that we get materials and equipment from to all come together and donate such a large amount of resources and put it all together and do it in three days for these homeowners to get access to their homes. It’s pretty impressive.” Andrew Kittredge, CPM Constructors, said.
Donations of supplies and time are being made by more than a dozen local companies.
Celebration of new Portland-Falmouth bridge coming up as old span comes down.
The Forecaster, Monday September 8, 2014 • Article and Photos: David Harry / For The Forecaster
(Link to Original Article)
PORTLAND — Saw, lift, dump.
Those are the four steps to demolition of the old Martin’s Point Bridge, summarized by CPM Constructors field engineer Jake Hall.Those are the four steps to demolition of the old Martin’s Point Bridge, summarized by CPM Constructors field engineer Jake Hall.
“We are getting a span or two a day,” Hall said Sept. 2 as he walked on the new bridge spanning the Presumpscot River between Portland and Falmouth. “I would like everything to be done by mid-November.”
The near-completion of the new bridge will be celebrated with a free, public “Bridge Bash” event from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14.
The party will be on the new bridge’s multi-use path, near the campus of Martin’s Point Health Care on the Portland side of the bridge.
Construction project spokeswoman Carol Morris said Sept. 2 the celebration will be “a family-oriented event that centers around transportation options on the bridge: biking, walking and driving.”
Sponsored by the city of Portland, town of Falmouth and Martin’s Point Health Care, the event will feature food trucks, live music, antique cars, face painting, glitter tattoos, a used book sale and an apple pie bake-off.
Visitors will also be able to view photos of bridge construction and get an up-close look at construction equipment used in the $23 million project.
About 10 feet below and north of the new bridge, skeletal remains of the 72-year- old, 1,400-foot, steel-and-concrete span are being cut away by 20 workers in 260-square-foot sections.
Morris estimated the cost of removing the old bridge at $1.6 million, or about 7 percent of the cost of the entire project that began two years ago. The new bridge opened to pedestrian and bicyclists June 2, and to vehicular traffic on June 13.
Finish work on the new bridge is continuing, but the greater focus is now on dismantling the old bridge and saving as much of it as possible for re-use elsewhere, Hall said.
“The steel’s in good shape, the deck is in good shape, so are the wood pilings,” he said.To do the job, water-cooled, diamond-edged saw blades cut through the old concrete. Torches pierce steel girders, cranes lift sections weighing 10 tons or more, and heavy hammers break up the concrete.
To do the job, water-cooled, diamond-edged saw blades cut through the old concrete. Torches pierce steel girders, cranes lift sections weighing 10 tons or more, and heavy hammers break up the concrete.
Once a section is cut away from the bridge structures, it is hoisted over the water and swung back on the remaining deck, with crews working backwards from the center of the old bridge.
The section is then broken apart, and concrete chunks are dumped into barges. One barge also holds a crane needed for work over the water.
Hall said the initial challenge was putting the deconstruction steps together, and scheduling around tides.
“At least you know when the tides are going to be. A little planning goes a long way,” he said.
Above the water, the wooden pilings show the age and wear of eight decades of salt water and weather. Hall said they are in remarkably good shape, with creosote coatings looking as fresh as when they were applied to the pilings that were pounded 40 feet below the ocean bottom.
The salvageable pilings will be reused in the Portland area, Hall said. The steel will also be recycled locally, and the concrete will be reused as fill. Even the metallic rebar ribs inside the concrete have been separated for recycling, and railings from the old bridge were installed on the new span.
The new span is actually about 120 feet shorter than the old one because more fill was used for the bridge approaches from Veranda Street and U.S. Route 1. Hall said pilings are set in bedrock, about four times deeper than on the old bridge.
The new bridge was designed by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, a Watertown, Massachusetts-based engineering firm, and the CPM bid was one of five received for the project.
The Forecaster, Friday August 15, 2014 • Photos: Ben McCanna / For The Forecaster
(Link to Original Article)
Although the Portland-Falmouth bridge is open, much work remains and commuters may face delays in coming months.
By Dennis Hoey
Pressherald.com, June 12, 2014
Instead of fanfare, the bridge contractor, in consultation with engineers from the Maine Department of Transportation, opted to quietly open the south and northbound lanes of the bridge around 4 p.m.
CPM Constructors of Freeport also permanently closed the old Martin’s Point Bridge, which had been kept open while the new one was built, starting in 2012. In the coming months, the old structure, which is several feet lower than the new bridge, will be demolished and removed.
Martin’s Point Bridge was built in 1943 to carry Route 1 traffic over the Presumpscot River between Portland and Falmouth. The total cost of building the new bridge and removing the old one is more than $23 million.
“I can’t believe I missed (the opening). I’m going to have to drive across it now,” Amy Lamontagne, who commutes from her home in Portland to her job in Falmouth, said Thursday night.
But for commuters who may have missed the stealth opening, the time to celebrate will come later this year when members of a volunteer celebration committee – consisting of residents and officials from Portland and Falmouth – will stage a party with live music and food on the bridge’s multi-use path, which opened June 2.
“It will be like a block party,” said Lamontagne, who serves on the committee. “We decided that it wouldn’t be feasible to close a bridge lane because we don’t want to inconvenience drivers.”
The party will be held on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 14.
Bridge opening parties are not unusual. In 2000, hundreds of Bath and Woolwich residents paraded across the new Sagadahoc Bridge – it cost more than $46 million to build – spanning the Kennebec River. There were fireworks, parties and even a YouTube video to mark the occasion.
Although it is now completely open, the new Martin’s Point Bridge is not finished. Approaches to the new bridge have not been paved and still have bumps and ruts.
The bridge railings, which are wooden now, must be replaced with permanent rails, and there is still a lot of landscaping work to be done. Two observation decks designed for fishermen and sightseeing have yet to be installed.
Interpretative signs, which will describe the bridge’s history, and a large sculpture of an Osprey spreading its wings over a nest on the Falmouth end of the bridge also need to be installed.
“They determined the new bridge was safe to drive over, but it’s not very pretty yet,” said Carol Morris, spokeswoman for the Martin’s Point Bridge project.
Morris said the remaining finish work means that commuters may experience delays or temporary closures in the coming months.
by Ben McCanna
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 8:30 am
PORTLAND — A $24 million project to construct a new bridge between Portland and Falmouth is on budget and on schedule.
The new Martin’s Point Bridge, which has been under construction for more than a year, is on track to open in May, thanks to the efforts of a crew that works year-round, despite unusually bitter temperatures this winter at the windswept mouth of the Presumpscot River.
Jake Hall, field engineer for CPM Constructors, said the project is 75 percent complete. Beams have been installed for all 10 spans of the new bridge; concrete has been poured for nine out of 10 spans, and abutments on both sides have been installed.The remaining work includes pouring concrete for sidewalks, vehicle barriers on both sides of the roadway, and the final span.
In mid-April, the bridge deck will be paved. In early to mid-May, the new bridge will open to traffic, Hall said.
The old bridge, which is still carrying U.S. Route 1 traffic on a narrowed deck, will be demolished by the end of the year. CPM Constructors will use large saws to remove the decking. Then, a barge will be used to either pull out the wood pilings or cut them off one foot below the mud line, Hall said.
Demolition of the eastern edge of the bridge may begin even before the new bridge opens, Hall said. The rest will be removed between May and December.
The existing Martin’s Point Bridge was built between 1941 and ’42. It was constructed with wooden piles instead of steel, because metals were in high demand for the war effort in Europe. Wooden-pile bridges are an endangered species in Maine, Hall said.
“Most of them are out of date,” he said.
The progress on the new bridge is due in part to a willingness to work in all conditions. Even during the recent polar vortex, when wind chills across the bridge plummeted to 35 degrees below zero, a few workers were still on deck removing snow, Hall said.
Wintry weather does hamper progress, however. In addition to snow that occasionally buries the work site, cold temperatures prevent workers from pouring concrete, Hall said.
The air temperature has to be a minimum of 36 degrees and rising before concrete is poured, but 40 degrees and higher is preferable. Afterward, workers wrap the molds in insulating material and “heating hoses” to keep the mix at 50 degrees or higher until it cures.
The number of workers at the job site fluctuates with the seasons. In the warmer months, CPM employed 35 to 40 workers at the bridge. Currently, there are about 15, Hall said.
On a recent sunny day, temperatures began in the teens, then crept into the high 20s with light winds – a relative respite from the stunning temperatures from earlier that week. Construction worker Tom Ibbitson stood on the bridge deck that overlooks Mackworth Island, Fort Gorges and the Northern Atlantic and used a table saw to cut lumber for concrete molds.
“This is nice,” Ibbitson said of the weather. “This is warm.”
Ibbitson said the key to working outdoors through the winter is simple.
“Dress very, very warm,” he said. “I wear double long-johns, three or four shirts.”
Ibbitson, who goes by the nickname “Nascar,” has worked on the bridge for two winters, and said this year’s weather has been worse. He added that frostbite is a near-constant danger on windy days, but so far no one at the site has been afflicted.
“Not yet, thank God,” he said. “Knock on wood.”
Foreman George Hogan, who has been working on the project since May, is accustomed to working in frigid temperatures after serving on winter-time projects in Chicago and Montana.
“This is similar,” he said of Maine this year. “I don’t mind the cold. I’m used to it. I like being outside and it’s a great view, especially when there’s a good sunrise.”
During months of shorter daylight hours, the work takes place each weekday between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The workers get two breaks to warm up: 15 minutes at 9 a.m. and 30 minutes at noon.
When construction is complete, the new Martin’s Point Bridge will be the “widest two-lane bridge in the state of Maine,” Hall said.
The bridge will be about 44 feet wide with a 5-foot sidewalk on the western side, 5-foot shoulders on both sides, two 12-foot vehicle lanes and a 10-foot multi-use path for cyclists, runners and pedestrians. There will also be two “bump-outs” on the eastern side to allow for recreational fishing.
The water depth below the bridge ranges between 10 and 14 feet at median low tide, according to nautical charts. Hall said the new bridge will allow for slightly higher clearance than its current 12 feet.
The bridge is designed to last 100 years, Hall said.
Ted Talbot, spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, agreed that the project is on budget and on schedule. So far, the construction crew has moved about 5,000 cubic yards of earth, placed about 5,100 cubic yards of concrete, driven 7,500 linear feet of pile and set 50 beams across 10 spans. Each beam weighs about 130,000 pounds, he said.
The crew has logged about 30,000 man-hours on the project since breaking ground in November 2012, Talbot said.
Ibbitson, who sports a bushy beard, said the coldest day on the bridge made him briefly consider life in an office.
Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.
The Associated General Contractors of America presents CPM Constructors with Build America Award for Maine tidal energy project work.
Freeport, ME, March 21, 2013 – The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) awarded CPM Constructors with a 2013 Build America Award for New Municipal & Utility Construction at AGC’s 94th Annual Convention in Palm Springs, California, on March 7, 2013. CPM won for its construction of the first phase of Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC’s) Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project in Lubec and Eastport, Maine, the first commercial, grid-connected tidal energy project to be built in the U.S.
AGC’s Build America Awards annually honor new construction and renovation in the categories of buildings, construction management, design-build construction, environmental enhancement, federal and heavy construction, highway and transportation construction, international construction, and municipal and utility construction. Awardees are judged on excellence in project management, innovation in construction or use of materials, contribution to community, and several other categories.
“Projects like the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project are few and far between,” said CPM Constructors’ CEO Eldon L. Morrison. “I am proud to say our team overcame the project’s many unique challenges using creativity and Maine ingenuity. It has been deeply gratifying to accept this prestigious award from AGC.”
After two years of planning, CPM began assembly of the 46.5-ton bottom support frame for ORPC’s TidGen™ Power System in February 2012. The following month, CPM installed the frame on the ocean floor and drove ten piles to secure it at a depth of 90 feet below low water. Starting in June 2012, CPM erected the 41.5-ton TidGen™ turbine generator unit (TGU) at the company’s facility in Eastport, Maine, and laid 4,000 feet of bundled underwater power and data cables beneath the ocean floor to connect the TidGen™ Power System to ORPC’s on-shore station. On August 14, CPM joined the TidGen™ TGU to the already-installed bottom support frame in Cobscook Bay, and within a month, the system was sending power to the grid.
The project’s challenges included meeting critical construction deadlines tied to environmental regulations safeguarding marine life in Cobscook Bay, and needing to tightly script and rehearse work occurring in an ocean region with super currents and the highest tidal range in the world.
A video overview of the project can be seen here http://vimeo.com/52876829.