The Androscoggin Swinging Bridge is inspected for wear and damage every five years, and this year will be receiving another--one slightly overdue, in fact, but we’re a year or two behind. So we’re sharing with you a little peek behind the curtain, going into how the bridge is inspected, how it’s repaired, and how your donations make it happen.
The most recent inspection of the bridge was carried out in 2013. During a typical inspection, the bridge is inspected from top to bottom for damage, corrosion, support failings, cosmetic damage, and anything else that requires repairs. It starts in the towers and abutments, which typically see minor coating damage and scratches, and the bolts, brackets, rivets, and clamps are looked over for signs of deterioration. Cables and restraints are checked for breakage and concrete inspected for damage. Tower anchors are examined for failure, and one needed replacing in 2013. At that time, the clamps holding the cable on one side were not installed correctly. This was fixed.
And when it comes time for the repairs, that’s where your donations come in. Those repairs and maintenance end up costing a not-insubstantial amount of money, and it can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 to keep the bridge in shape. Your donations and your contributions are what pay for that maintenance, and this year we’re finding ourselves about $5,000 short, so this year the success of our fundraisers matters more than ever.