Some readers will ask why we’re devoting so much space this month to a bridge across the Penobscot River. We’ve done so for a couple of reasons:
it’s an important piece of coastal infrastructure over which a lot of the Maine coast’s products must travel to reach their markets, and, quite simply, it’s an innovative and interesting piece of engineering. New bridges have a way of transforming the environment around them; the Casco Bay Bridge that replaced Portland’s old Million Dollar Bridge changed the look of Portland Harbor, and the Sagadahoc Bridge that replaced the Carleton Bridge at Bath did much to eliminate that community’s mind-numbing traffic jams. Whatever it’s eventually named, the bridge that replaces the old Waldo-Hancock Bridge across the Penobscot will transform its skyline and remind travelers (as the award-winning old bridge did for so long) of the critical role that sound design and good engineering play in all our lives.