Road into Knight Meadow Marsh closed for construction

  • map of Knight Meadow bridge replacement 2018 Courtesy—NH Fish & Game

Monitor staff
Published: 8/28/2018 5:30:29 PM

The main road into the Knight Meadow Marsh Waterfowl Management Area in Webster will be closed for a couple months starting today, Aug. 29, while a series of old culverts are replaced with a bridge.

“There’s a stream crossing that has four culverts that cannot handle the flows of that stream during a high water event,” said Jim Oehler, who oversees wildlife management areas owned by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. “The water overtops the road, road material winds up downstream.”

Knight Meadow Road will be closed through mid to late October to allow construction of a bridge over Knight Meadow Brook.

The four metal culverts that currently exist under the road, each 30 inches in diameter, pose another problem. Like many such pipes, they can block the passage of fish and other organisms from one part of the watershed to another.

Under a $240,000 program, they will be removed and replaced by a bridge with a 40-foot span.

This will allow more water to flow under the road during heavy rain events, which are increasing as a part of the changing climate. It will also prevent the culverts’ unnatural channeling of high water flows that can alter the streambed downstream.

Further, because the bridge will allow a natural substrate to exist on the bottom of the stream, as compared to the narrow metal bottoms of culvert pipes, it will be better for organisms to move and live.

Oehler said a similar replacement has occurred at the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area in Pittsburgh in the North Country.

The Knight Meadow area is adjacent to the Leonard State Wildlife Management Area. Together they cover about 1,000 acres.

This project is being done in coordination with neighboring landowners and the Department of Environmental Services.

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