Waldo-Hancock Bridge Coming Down

Waldo Hancock Bridge in Maine. Photo courtesy of HABS-HAER














Now the answer to the question of how the Waldo-Hancock Suspension Bridge is being demolished:

The moment the question for the forum was posted a week and a half ago, one of the readers jumped to the conclusion and answered the following: “The Bridge is Being Dismantled Going in Reverse.”  Now what does that suppose to mean?

The suspension bridge is being dismantled going in reverse order of how it was built in 1932. This means that the decking would be dismantled first, being cut up into segments and lowered onto barges. Once the roadway is removed, the suspension cables would be the next ones to go, where the vertical suspenders that connect the main cables with the decking would be removed, with the main cables being cut up and lowered onto barges for removal to follow. Once they are gone, the steel bridge towers will be deconstructed the exact same way as it was built in 1932.

However, not all of the bridge will be gone. The flagpoles that existed on the towers will be donated to both Waldo and Hancock Counties. They were the first ones to be removed when the demolition work started in November 2012. Sections of the main suspension cables will also be donated to local historical societies that have a connection with the suspension bridge. This also includes having a display of the suspension cables at the Penobscot Bridge park and complex, located next to the bridge. And finally, the piers that held the suspension towers will be preserved as a marker indicating its existence. Markers and other informational panels will be provided at the site.

At the present time, in its seventh month of the demolition process, both the suspension bridge towers and the main cables that used to support the roadway are still standing. While the project is scheduled to be finished by the end of June of this year, it is likely that it will be pushed back due to weather-related issues. But nevertheless, the Waldo-Hancock Bridge, the first suspension bridge built in Maine and the very first Penobscot River crossing ever built will be nothing more than a memory, with cut-up cables and former bridge piers serving as proof of its existence.

Links to the Bridge removal project:


http://www.maine.gov/mdot/whbridgeremoval/removal.htm (includes updated photos of the bridge removal process.)