Bow’s Birchdale Road bridge collapses early Wednesday morning

  • The Birchdale Road bridge is seen collapsed on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • The Birchdale Road bridge, which spans White Brook in Bow, is seen collapsed on Wednesday. Elizabeth Frantz photos / Monitor staff

  • The Birchdale Road bridge is seen collapsed on Wednesday. The bridge is believed to have caved in sometime Wednesday morning.

Monitor staff
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Birchdale Road bridge in Bow was officially closed to all types of traffic after it collapsed early Wednesday morning, according to town officials.

Town Manager Dave Stack said the culvert on the bridge, which spans White Brook, had deteriorated to the point where sand and gravel had been falling through.

The red-listed bridge has been closed to motor vehicle traffic since July 2015, after an underwater inspection of the bridge showed it had critical structural deficiencies. Now, it is closed to all foot and bicycle traffic, including joggers, walkers and bicyclists, according to Bow’s website.

Voters in March approved a $772,000 warrant article for the replacement of the bridge. According to town documents, $664,000 of the project will be paid for by state bridge aid, which would be available by fiscal year 2025.

The bridge is planned to be 30 feet wide, 8 feet wider than the current bridge, and include space for two bike lanes should the town decide to install them. The bridge is also twice as long as the current bridge – going from 13 to 26 feet – to comply with the state’s 50-year flood requirements.

Construction was expected to begin July 1 and finish Nov. 1. The town will receive its final easement Thursday morning, Stack said. Once received, the town will issue a notice to proceed and construction on the project can begin.

Caitlin Andrews