Bearcamp relief bridge

Work on the Bearcamp Relief Bridge will cause the closure of Route 16 from Sept. 27- Oct. 1. Easterly and westerly detours will be in place for motorists.(DAYMOND STEER PHOTO)

OSSIPEE — The New Hampshire Department of Transportation said the demolition and slide-in replacement of the Bearcamp River Relief Bridge in Ossipee will begin Sept. 27.

The job will require closing Route 16 at the Bearcamp River for three days.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, Route 16 will be closed to all traffic at the Bearcamp River area between Newman Drew Road and Nichols Road.

According to NH-DOT, the scheduled target time for bridge and roadway to re-open is Oct. 1 at 6 a.m.

During the three days, detours will be in place. An easterly (Conway) detour involves taking Route 153 south to Route 25 in Freedom and then looping back west to Route 16.

The westerly (Moultonborough) detour involves taking Route 25 at West Ossipee down to Moultonborough and then picking up Route 171 through Tuftonboro east to Ossipee and Route 16.

Details on this detour can be found at tinyurl.com/ossipee-detours.

Route 16 will be open to local businesses and residents and for motorists traveling to destinations in the immediate area of the road closure.

At a community outreach meeting last month, general contractor Reed & Reed's project manager Dominique Cyr said the hope was the work between Sept. 20-24. Reed & Reed is based in Woolrich, Maine.

However, on Tuesday, DOT Contract Administrator Chuck Flanders said it took a few more days to prepare for the slide. "It was just making sure everything lined up," he said.

Cyr noted at last month's meeting that anyone who wants to watch the bridge slide, can see a “live webcam feed” of the work at ossipeebridges.com. That website already has information about the bridge posted.

It said the "two companion bridges on NH Route 16 in Ossipee were built in 1955. One bridge spans the Bearcamp River, the other bridge spans the Bearcamp River flood plain providing flood relief.

"Both bridges are now being replaced due to deterioration that has occurred over the past 64 years."

It also shows a 36-second video illustrating the slide technique that will be used. It involves building a replacement bridge adjacent to the current bridge, removing the old bridge and sliding the new one into place.

"Although this technique in not new, it is being use more often to rapidly replace a bridge and limit impacts to the traveling public," states Ossipee bridges.com. "The replacement of each bridge will require short-term lane closures to progress construction activities. Then, each bridge will require a complete closure spanning a a few days only."

In addition to this bridge work, the second section of roadway rehabilitation on NH 16 will begin on Saturday, Sept. 28. This work will include, but not be limited to: reclaiming, grading, and paving from the Lovell River to Newman Drew Road. This will be accomplished using one-way alternating traffic through the work area. Traffic will be controlled using flaggers, operational signs, cones, and barrels. There will be extended periods of time where motorists will travel on unpaved surfaces.

Additional information can be found at tinyurl.com/dot.ossipee.projects.

This work is part of a project that consists of the replacement of three bridges (Lovell River, Bearcamp River, and Bearcamp Relief), and 3.5 miles of roadway reconstruction on NH Route 16.

The entire project cost $16.9 million.

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