NASHUA — No repairs will be necessary for the Route 111 bridge over the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Nashua where state police discovered concrete had fallen from the structure.

On Tuesday, state police reported to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation that there was broken concrete under the Route 111 bridge near Exit 5 in Nashua.

“We immediately dispatched a bridge maintenance crew to inspect the bridge,” said Eileen Meaney, chief communications officer at the DOT.

Two lanes of the F.E. Everett Turnpike were closed around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday while the DOT investigated, according to Meaney, who said inspectors found there was some concrete that had spalled.

Spalling occurs when water enters the concrete — in this case, most likely from the recent freeze and thaw — which caused the surface to crumble, Meaney said.

“It was just kind of one of those odd things,” she said, adding DOT representatives checked other areas of the bridge and did not locate any concerns.

The lanes of traffic were reopened that day.

Additional inspections were taking place on Wednesday, according to Meaney, who said one lane of travel was closed while that work took place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Traffic was still moving on Wednesday despite the extra inspection work.

The bridge received a grade of seven, meaning it is still in good condition, she said.

Meaney was unsure exactly how much concrete had fallen from the bridge onto the turnpike.

While it is unusual, she said, bridge surface spalling has occurred in other states. She compared the situation to frost heaves causing problems on roadways because of repeated episodes of freezing and thaws.

“The good news is that I think the reason this doesn’t happen more often is because of our rigorous bridge inspection program,” Meaney said.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Tuesday, June 02, 2020