The city authorized spending nearly $10,000 to complete a routine inspection of the Armistice Footbridge and the bascule.

Harbormaster Katherine Pickering recommended to councilors June 3 to hire engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., to perform a visual inspection of the footbridge in order to document the overall condition of the deck, superstructure and substructure.

Bridge components such as the railing, lighting, concrete deck, deck joints, steel beams, bearings, abutments, piers, the fender system, both bridge approaches and the bascule span superstructure will be inspected, according to a memo from VHB.

A detailed “hands-on” inspection, which would involve the inspectors getting close enough to touch the bridge components is not included in the scope of work, according to VHB.

The engineering firm also indicated it would not conduct any underwater inspections at the piers that are not exposed at low tide. An inspection of the electrical and mechanical systems of the bascule span will also not be inspected by VHB.

Once the inspection is finished, which VHB estimated would take about two months to complete, a report that summarizes the condition of the bridge, along with photographs and maintenance recommendations will be submitted to the city.

The cost of the inspection by VHB is estimated to be about $7,976.

In addition to the inspection of the bridge by VHB, councilors also authorized spending about $1,800 to hire C&H Merrill, Inc. to inspect the bascule.

Councilor Mike Hurley commented that it is important to do the inspection and he is glad the work will be completed.

City Manager Joseph Slocum told councilors the funds to pay for the inspection will be taken from the footbridge maintenance account that has about $46,000 in it.

“It kind of breaks the tradition, doesn't it, of Maine of actually maintaining bridges,” Councilor Roger Lee joked.

The funding for the inspection was approved unanimously and Slocum noted the city sets aside $5,000 annually to put into the footbridge maintenance account.