Bridge linking Western Maine to New Hampshire shut down

Bridges compromised after storms

SHELBURNE, New Hampshire (NEWS CENTER) - A major roadway connecting Maine and New Hampshire is shutdown after the pavement buckled over a bridge.

It happened just over the Maine border in the town of Shelburne, New Hampshire. It is a major problem for people who use Route 2 because there’s no easy detour around it. 

Rushing water from a small river feeding the Androscoggin carried large trees crashing into a bridge over Route 2, compromising the structure and shutting down a major roadway connecting two states.

“This is the lifeline from Portland, Maine to Rutland, Vermont. This is the major route, no other to way to get around”, said Shelburne Fire Chief Randy Davis.

For people traveling just a few miles to get to work, their commute became a logistical nightmare.

“They’re telling us to go to Conway, NH which is going to be 2 and a half hour ride from here to Gorham, NH. Not convenient, but we gotta do what we gotta do to go to work”, said Amy Howes.

John Schnell was leaving Maine heading to New York after vacationing here. He decided to take the scenic route home, not knowing what he was in for.

“Just following the directions my GPS gave me and here I am. I’ve been observing all the flooding all along and its pretty bad”, he said.

Engineers from the NH Department of Transportation spent much of the day on the scene examining the damage. They were hoping to look under the pavement to see if least one side of the roadway is passable.

After assessing the damage crews are hoping to open one side of the bridge to allow one-way, alternating traffic through later this evening. 

   

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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