2015-04-16 / Letters

Saco bridge should be restored, here’s why

To the Editor:

Stackpole Bridge in Saco is here today, but may be gone before summer’s end, even though there is a proposed design that is below the cost of a cement replacement that will save the current structure and also meet current standards. Below are the facts about Stackpole Bridge in Saco: Oldest stone bridge on a public road in Maine Eligible for National Register of Historic Places One of very few stone bridges in Maine

Saco is building on its past to create the kind of environment that young families, professionals and elders will continue to find attractive. Saco has a historic downtown district. It has restored city hall, where public events have been held for 160 years, and has ensured that the fire station remains for new uses. Investors are again attracted to our mill buildings.

As far as I can determine, Stackpole Bridge is the oldest Saco public structure still standing. It is older than city hall (built in 1855), older than the city’s water (1884) and sewer systems (1876) and older than the Pepperrell Park water tower (1887). It was built using a proven technology; dry stone work was the standard for durable construction for millennia, outlasting modern materials by centuries. I do not understand how “tear it out and build something that will last” applies here. Stackpole Bridge is still standing and functioning as intended after 167 years. It is only current requirements and the loss of understanding of these structures that now threaten its existence.

The proposed plan provides H-20 loading, two-lane traffic, a 75-year lifespan and reassurance of its ability to manage flood conditions by using an innovative approach that strengthens and protects the existing structure for

The Courier encourages readers to submit letters to the editor. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for style, request revisions or reject letters. Email is the preferred method for transmitting letters to editor@inthecourier.com. Deadline is Monday at noon. For questions, call Molly Lovell- Keely at 282-4337, ext. 223. a cost well below the $990,000 bond that was passed last fall. With this plan Saco residents will be getting the most value for their tax dollars.

Supporters of bridge rehabilitation should call their councilor to express support for this plan, and also come to city hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21.

Susan Littlefield Saco

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