Saturday, October 10, 2009

Third border bridge at Calais - St. Stephen set to open late next month

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 Published Saturday October 10th, 2009
Derwin Gowan

ST. STEPHEN - A new era for St. Stephen and Calais, Maine, might begin in another six weeks, a Maine government spokeswoman said this week.
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Derwin Gowan/Telegraph-Journal
The new bridge linking St. Stephen to Calais, Maine, across the St. Croix River will tentatively open to traffic Nov. 21. The third crossing at St. Stephen/Calais will divert trucks and other through traffic from the centre of the border communities. This photograph shows the entry portals and other facilities at the Canadian end of the bridge. The trees on the horizon are in Calais. 
Officials on both sides of the border are still sorting out schedules to get everybody together to cut the ribbon to open the new international bridge linking the two communities across the St. Croix River.

However, it will likely happen next month, people on each side of the river say.
"We are tentatively looking at a date of Nov. 21," Maine Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Lane said Thursday. "That's how it appears now."

"They're talking about some dates towards the end of November," said Andrew Holland with the New Brunswick Department of Transportation.

Opening the third bridge will divert large trucks and other through traffic, forcing businesses downtown businesses in St. Stephen and Calais, Maine, to adapt.

Some businesses will miss the drive-by traffic. However, long line-ups of transport trucks backed up Milltown Boulevard - like the one Friday morning - to clear United States customs and immigration will become a memory.

Local traffic will still use the two old bridges - at Ferry Point linking Milltown Boulevard, St. Stephen, to Main Street, Calais, and the Milltown Bridge not far below the new bridge.

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