As in many areas throughout New England, heavy rain began in Peterborough on the evening of December 24th, and continued into the morning of December 25th. The project contractor for the Main Street Bridge Project had prepared for this storm based on the anticipated rainfall.
As a result of this storm, the construction site received approximately 2 inches of rain along with a tremendous amount of snow melt due to the warmer than expected temperatures, which caused the river’s water elevation to rise higher than expected. The water level reached the top of the steel cofferdam (a temporary structure designed to hold back the water) and spilled into the excavation area on the west side of the bridge (Town House side) causing it to flood. A concrete footing for the new bridge had been constructed inside the cofferdam during the week of December 13th. Though there was some debris caught by the high water, the majority of the flooded area was free of construction equipment or materials and damage is expected to be minimal to nonexistent. The excavator that people observed on the east side of the bridge (Route 202 side) was parked next to the river and, though it had water reach the top of its tracks, is completely operable and was actively working as of Monday, December 28th.
The contractor is on schedule, working to drill foundation anchors for the retaining wall, construct a section of the masonry wall, and construct the cofferdam on the east side of the bridge. The only effect that weather event has had is that the crew will need to wait for the river to subside before they can pump down the water in the west cofferdam to gain access and resume working behind it.
This weather event will have little impact on the overall schedule of the project.