A temporary bridge being built in Old Town will likely open to traffic in April, after which replacement of the deteriorating Llewellyn G. Estes Memorial Bridge will begin, Maine’s transportation agency said Friday.

Woolwich-based Reed & Reed, Inc. began site preparations and setting up traffic control signage July 24. Now the contractor is working to install a two-way, temporary bridge ahead of the long-anticipated major replacement.

The Llewellyn G. Estes Memorial Bridge consists of two structures that carry Stillwater Avenue across the Stillwater River. It is more than 70 years old and considered structurally deficient.

The bridge was slated for replacement as part of a multi-year, $20 million project, but the Maine Department of Transportation rejected all bids after they came in nearly double the budgeted amount, delaying work for about two years. Now the project has a clearer timeline and price tag.

The bridge replacement is estimated to cost $28,787,000, said Damian Veilleux, a Maine DOT spokesperson.

“This [temporary bridge] will remove weight restrictions on Stillwater Avenue,” he said, referring to the 30-ton limit added to the bridge’s northernmost span last July. “We hope to start construction of the permanent replacement bridges shortly after the temporary bridge is open to traffic, although this schedule is still being finalized.”

In a recently updated construction schedule, the project is split into two parts — one costing about $10,600,000 and the other $18,100,000. The Maine DOT will advertise the work in late October.

Bridge projects are typically funded 80 percent by the Federal Highway Administration and 20 percent by the state, Veilleux said. This project was one of nine throughout Maine that received a $42 million INFRA, or Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, grant in 2020, and all projects will share the funding, he said.

The city of Old Town is not funding the bridge replacement, he said.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations committee recently endorsed a bill including $15.75 million for the bridge replacement championed by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the panel. It must now head to the Senate and House of Representatives for full passage.

Earlier this year, the Maine DOT was considering the use of GBeams from Brewer-based manufacturer Advanced Infrastructure Technologies, which are fiber-reinforced polymer bridge beams.

The technology, which the company developed with University of Maine researchers, is designed to last decades longer than traditional steel and concrete structures, resistant to corrosion and requires little maintenance, according to Advanced Infrastructure Technologies.

The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.

It’s unclear whether the GBeams will still be used, and the Maine DOT is still looking at the best materials for the bridge replacement, Veilleux said.

“We are committed to using new technologies available to the transportation industry to design and build highly corrosion-resistant bridges,” he said. “We are focusing on the use of products that have been developed by UMaine.”