MILBRIDGE, Maine — The new Great North Bridge connecting Milbridge to Harrington opened to traffic yesterday after several months of construction.

Temporary single-lane bridges were erected on Route 1A over the Narraguagus River last winter to carry traffic during the primary construction period.

“The contractor will be removing the temporary bridges in the coming couple of months, and that process will take a while,” said Herb Thomson, director of communications for the Maine Department of Transportation.

“As far as finishing the project, there is still work to be done next construction season, such as final paving, cleanup and other auxiliary tasks. The bridge is open to traffic, and while the temporary bridges are being removed, there will be some occasions during working hours when alternating one-way traffic will be necessary.”

The replacement of the Great North and Great South bridges is a $5.7 million project commissioned by the Maine DOT as part of a larger two-year plan to rebuild and repair state roads and bridges. Reed & Reed Construction of Woolwich, the contractor in charge of the project, hopes to finish work one year ahead of the April 9, 2010, completion date, according to the Reed & Reed Web site.