The state has abandoned its preferred plan to replace the Machias dike bridge.
The deteriorating structure, which dates to the Civil War era, carries Route 1 over the Middle River in Machias, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.
The state originally planned to replace the Machias dike with a 1,000-foot-long bridge with a middle span allowing the Middle River to flow through. That plan concerned nearby landowners, who worried that would expose their waterfront property to tidal flooding.
The Middle River winds from Marshfield, to the northwest, to Machias, where it feeds into the Machias River by Route 1 before emptying into Machias Bay.
Instead, the Department of Transportation will continue to use a fully gated dike, the agency said Tuesday.
But closures will be coming to the Route 1 bridge because of concerns over the structure’s safety. A September inspection raised concerns about its integrity, and divers who returned to the site last week found soil erosion between the concrete slab beneath the road and the timber forming the top of the gated box, according to the Department of Transportation.
Part of the shoulder and parking area on the southbound side of the Machias dike bridge was closed Tuesday.
A temporary bridge will be built over the existing structure in the coming months to allow for continued traffic over Route 1 and the nearby Down East Sunrise Trail. That will eventually close Route 1 for about a week, according to the Department of Transportation.