MDOT watching ice jam on the Saco River in Fryeburg

8:42 PM, Jan 27, 2010   |    comments
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FRYEBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Ice is backed up for two miles along the Saco river and now sits just upstream from the Weston Bridge which takes Route 113 over the border into New Hampshire.  Randy Bodge with the Maine Department of Transportation says he's hoping for a hard freeze that will keep the ice in place. Then he says everyone  should hope for a  slow and steady thaw come Spring.

The New Hampshire side of Route 113 is under water. Flooding and ice jams occur every spring along this stretch of road. It's one of the reasons they replaced the bridge a few years back.

But with the water rushing just a foot beneath the bridge supports, the DOT is concerned the hard packed ice could do serious damage.  It has closed the bridge and in monitoring the ice jam to make sure not ice hits the bridge.  if that does happen, engineers will have to look at the structure before it can be reopened.

The ice jam did move yesterday, but got caught up again a few hundred yards from the bridge.

People coming to check the water level today were pleased by what they saw.The water on the Saco has receded about 3 feet since Tuesday. 

At this rate, the DOT says it might be able to reopen the bridge sometime tomorrow. Until then, drivers will have to continue to use the Route 5 detour, which takes an extra 15 minutes.


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