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Failed culvert closes Concord road for repairs

  • The Broad Cove Drive culvert failure in Concord is shown. Courtesy of Concord General Services

Monitor staff
Published: 4/10/2019 4:20:47 PM

The winter’s heavy rains and snowmelt proved too much for an old culvert pipe in west Concord on Wednesday, forcing the city to close Broad Cove Drive, perhaps through the end of next week.

The culvert, which is so old that the city don’t know when it was installed, carried drainage under the road toward the nearby Contoocook River.

A truck driver for Concord General Services noticed a guardrail dangling off the edge of the road about 7 a.m. Wednesday “while patrolling to treat for icy road conditions,” according to a press release. The road was shut between number 174 and the nearby intersection with West Parish Road.

“It was a quick, proactive action to close the road due to the potential of a possible sinkhole,” stated General Services Director Chip Chesley.

GMI Asphalt of Belmont has been contracted to cut the road, excavate down to the pipe, restore the riprap rock material that underlies the pipe, lay new pipe, then backfill the trench and repave the road.

Culverts are pipes that carry roads over streams or drainage when the situation doesn’t require building an entire bridge. They are often considered a weak spot for road infrastructure in this era of climate change.

An increase in extreme weather events means that heavy rains and flash flooding are more likely, which can overwhelm a pipe that was big enough when installed.

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