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Aug 27, 2015 5:46 PM

Heavy foot traffic diverted, Rochester pedestrian bridge deemed unsafe


ROCHESTER – A pedestrian bridge typically used daily by students, walkers and bicyclists has been closed after state officials determined it's unsafe.

The bridge crosses over the Cocheco River on Charles Street, adjacent to Route 125.

The city said a recent inspection by the Department of Transportation found that the bridge posed a "threat to public safety".

Rochester Director of City Services John Storer said part of the bridge was rotting underneath, and he thinks it may have been due to road treatments during the rough winter weather.

“It looks like ... road salt got inside there and accelerated the corrosion," Storer said. "What is holding the load – the pedestrians, or sidewalk plows and things of that nature is the decking – and that support for the decking is what’s really corroded.”

Storer said his department is going to ask the city for no more than $250,000 to repair or replace the bridge. It could be cheaper to simply replace the bridge, Storer said.

Traffic lanes are going to be shifted over the next few days, and a "temporary pedestrian path" is going to be installed next to the travel lanes while the city works to fix the bridge's issues.


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