GREAT NEWS: The Nov. 4th, 2014 citizens' referendum was successful! By a margin of 464 votes, the citizens of Saco approved the bond package for $990,000. Thank you to all residents who voted for this important bridge project.
Now that the bond money has been approved, the city can pursue the most economically prudent and fitting plan for rehabilitating OR replacing Stackpole Bridge.
The Friends of Stackpole Bridge will continue to advocate for preservation of the original stone bridge based on the massive structure's inherent durability and potentially cheaper (or similar) rehabilitation price when compared to demolition and replacement with a concrete modular bridge.
Stone bridges throughout the world are known to endure for many more centuries (if not thousands of years!) than bridges made of man-made materials. Over time, the rehabilitation option could actually save the taxpayers of Saco hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A rehabilitated bridge would also meet the City's goal of a bridge that allows for two-way traffic and full weight loads that can accommodate a 34 ton fire ladder truck.
Important to note is Stackpole Bridge's unique place in history as a shining example of 19th century dry laid stone masonry and its claim to fame as Maine's oldest bridge (period!) on a public roadway. Rehabilitation would keep the historic features of this one-of-a-kind stone bridge preserved for generations to come.
Abutting property owners to the bridge are committed to finding a plan that would allow increased public access to the bridge and environs. A great hiking trail from Horton Woods on Rt. 112 called "The Stone Bridge Trail" already exists, which allows hikers to walk through all the way to the bridge for a great "visual treat" to conclude a hike.
The Fund for Stackpole Bridge, a separate non-profit, has been created to help raise funds for any additional needs related to the rehab. effort, and to fund public access (parking, stairs, vegetation control) to the bridge and surrounding environs. Historic signs and educational outreach materials are also needed. Please visit the DONATE NOW tab at the top of this webpage if you would like to contribute funds to this effort. No amount is too small and we welcome any level of support from local residents, as well as from folks throughout New England and beyond!
Come visit the bridge if you have not done so yet! Take a walk in the country and enjoy historic Simpson Road, part of the Saco River Corridor. Bicycles and motorcycles can still access the currently closed bridge for a through-drive to Salmon Falls and Rt. 117.
PREVIOUS BOND VOTE: JUNE 2013 June 2013: Election Results: Our bond has failed 742 in favor and 971 against.
Many thanks to all our supporters. In spite of all your enthusiasm for saving Stackpole Bridge, the bond issue was defeated. All our hard work did not dispel some unfortunate conceptions, especially that City funds exist for a replacement bridge, or that re-opening Lord Rd. is an cheap and easy alternative. At this time, it appears that Simpson Road will remain two dead ends for a long time, but the bridge will remain as is. Stop by this summer to enjoy the bridge and brook: the bridge is still open for foot and cycle traffic.