FREEDOM — The Danforth Brook Bridge on Ossipee Lake Road opened back up to traffic last Saturday after being closed for months due to a problem encountered during replacement of the 93-year-old span, Freedom Town Administrator Ellen White said last Friday.
Freedom selectmen voted in November 2019 to hire Earth Construction of Pittsfield to replace the bridge for about $1.9 million. The state is paying 80 percent of the cost.
According to White, the bridge was built in 1928 and has been on New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s list of red-listed bridges for well over a decade.
White said contractors are set to do final surfacing, guardrail installation and final grade and drainage work next spring.
The Danforth Brook Bridge was closed Oct. 26 to address a “boil,” said White, who said a boil “occurs when water under pressure wells up through a bed of sand.”
GZA, a geotechnical engineering firm, was involved to assist with finding a solution and it was suggested that the most cost-effective method would be to make soil on both sides of the bridge consistent so the bridge would settle evenly, said White.
During the closure, traffic was detoured into Madison over East Madison Road, or Route 16 to Route 25 East, both dependent on the origination and destination.
In an article, “Freedom Closes Danforth Brook Bridge” dated Oct. 23, Ossipee Lake Alliance wrote: “Construction work on the project was aborted Sept. 30 after bore-hole tests revealed the load-bearing capacity of the soils surrounding the bridge was less than what is required in the design.
“The town kept the span open to passenger cars but banned trucks, saying the remaining section of the old bridge had been compromised by work on the replacement structure.”
For more information, go to townoffreedom.net.