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Very short walk along a path...easy in the summer, snowshoes in the winter. This is a winter-friendly lock-n-lock cache.
Special note on this one: I’ve gone to great lengths to assure this one will remain winter-friendly. Please note how “the hide” is created and replace it exactly as you found it. If you don’t this one may get muggled. Thanks!
The Story: At the end of January 2007 the Maine DOT informed the City of Ellsworth that an inspection of the dam at the outlet of Graham Lake showed considerable deterioration and that the 83-year-old concrete bridge that sits atop the dam had become dangerous. This was a problem because the bridge along Route 180 connects the residents of Otis and Mariaville to Ellsworth and all points southeast and southwest. But to repair the dam and construct a new bridge would be very costly, take time to plan, and time to build an entire new bridge. No money had been in the budget for a new bridge, no plans had been created, and the residents would be faced with over a year of traveling many more miles to bypass that bridge just to get to work or to their doctor and hospital.
In stepped the DOT with a plan for a “temporary bridge” until a final solution could be worked out. The military had perfected these bridges in the past so why not apply that technology here? Work to assemble a temporary structure was proposed and plans made to place an ambulance and fire trucks on the far side of the bridge to cover the area while the bridge was being constructed. The fish hatchery staff agreed to house the emergency vehicles and personnel while the work was being performed. (As a side note: it was during this “stay” at the fish hatchery that I placed a geocache on their grounds.)
Work began on the temporary bridge on February 20, 2007. Fearful of long delays in being able to travel to Ellsworth, someone with a snowplow cleared travel lanes through the snow out onto Graham Lake from one end of the bridge area to the other creating a potentially dangerous situation. If a car went through the ice it would be very difficult to perform a rescue. The DOT crews worked around the clock to erect the one-lane temporary bridge and it took them only 2.5 days to construct, complete with ramps on either end for vehicles to get up onto the bridge and traffic lights to control the single-lane traffic. On the afternoon of Thursday, February 22nd, I drove our ambulance from the fish hatchery, across the bridge, and back to Ellsworth. The bridge was designed to hold 100,000 pounds and it held nicely.
With the economy being as bad as it has been, and no money for new bridge construction, it is now the not-so-temporary bridge. They may even end up connecting Route 180 north of the bridge over to Route 1A and never replace the old bridge. And now you know “the rest of the story.” Take a few minutes to observe this 2.5-day wonder and enjoy the view of Graham Lake.
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