Sep 8, 2015 4:49 PM
MERRIMACK – A heavily traveled bridge in Merrimack has been shut down.
Cop cars, flashing lights and detour signs now block the formally "drive at your own risk" bridge on Bean Road over the Baboosic Brook.
Jim Martin is one of the many people who travel along this bridge and had to detour their routes due to the closure.
“Yeah, I take this road every day to work,” Martin said.
But now, Martin, and many others, have no choice but to turn around.
So why has this bridge closed?
An inspection of the bridge earlier this month found the bridge had deteriorated badly since its last inspection in 2014.
Authorities cited major corrosion and deep pitting as some of the reasons for the closure – saying the road’s condition was so poor cars should not have been driving on them at all.
The Merrimack bridge is just one of 340 municipal bridges on the state’s so-called ‘Red List.’
The Red List consists of NH bridges that need to be inspected more frequently and pose a threat to drive on.
Merrimack residents recalled a sign that was placed on the bridge a year ago stating no trucks were allowed to pass, but did not think the bridge would be closed indefinitely.
Not all residents are upset about the road closure, Mike Gagnon says he rather be safe than sorry.
“If they’re keeping people off of it, presumably it’s for a good reason,” Gagnon said.
Officials said they are already designing a replacement bridge that is expected to begin construction this winter. The new bridge is expected to be ready next November.
As far as who will be paying for the demolition and reconstruction - taxpayers as it is a municipal infrastructure.
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