🔴 The Chestnut Street Bridge was closed for a major rehabilitation in January

🔴 COAST buses also resumed their routes across the bridge

🔴 Some work is left to do that could require lane closures

The Chestnut Street Bridge reopened to traffic Friday morning ahead of schedule and under budget, according to the City of Dover's Community Services.

The 47-year-old bridge's roadway and pedestrian paths were closed January 3 for a major rehabilitation that included the installation of new, wearing-course pavement. The membrane, which helps protects a bridge from corrosive conditions, was replaced, and the sidewalks reconstructed. Concrete in the bridge deck that has deteriorated was also replaced.

The $2.1 million project was expected to take until May 19. COAST buses also resumed service on the bridge Friday.

Electronic sign announcing Chestnut Street Bridge closure
Electronic sign announcing Chestnut Street Bridge closure 1/1/23 (Townsquare Media)

The reopening came as a pleasant surprise after the city issue a statement earlier in the week that the project was on schedule.

There is still some work to be done on the bridge on the contractor's "punch list" that may require lane closures and shifts.

A utility will also be doing work on the sidewalk after the utilities were found to be "fragile," according to an earlier update on the project.

The bridge closure affected easy access to Dover Police headquarters, Dover District Court, and the main Post Office, along with the parking garage and the Dover Transportation center, home to the Amtrak Downeaster. It could also take longer to get to the entrance of the Dover Community Trail.

Reaction to the early reopening of the bridge to the city's Facebook page was positive, with memes of Homer Simpson giving a "woo hoo", and a dancing Snoopy.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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