ALLENSTOWN — Regular users of Route 28 will have to modify their commute, but what path that modification will take is still up in the air.
Public comment is underway to ascertain possible detour routes during the upcoming closure of a bridge on Route 28 just outside the entrance to Bear Brook State Park.
Spanning the Suncook River between Pembroke and Allenstown, the bridge was first built in 1958, with its most recent repairs coming in 1995.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) placed the bridge on the state’s bridge red list in 2013, where it currently sits within the top third among its most urgent projects.
On Monday, Representatives of the NHDOT Bureau of Bridge Design asked the Allenstown Board of Selectmen and other local residents what detour route they would prefer while the bridge undergoes renovation.
There are three primary options for the detour routes, which would be in place during a yet to be determined part of the 2022 summer construction season.
The first option would focus on closing one lane at a time while leaving the other in use, which would put the project time frame at approximately six months.
Temporary traffic lights would be placed on the road, with the NHDOT representatives indicating that cars would be backed up about 400 to 600 feet on either direction during peak travel hours.
The second option would close the bridge completely for one month while renovations take place. However, this option would place a detour across the primarily residential roads of Academy Road and Buck Street in Pembroke.
A third option also closes the bridge for a month, instead using Route 106 and Route 4 for the detour, eventually reconnecting with Route 28 in Epsom. While this option avoids the residential areas in the second option, it is approximately three times longer.
No official opinion was given by the board on which option they prefer, but NHDOT Engineer Anthony Weatherbee left with the impression that those in attendance liked the first option best.
Pembroke residents and the Pembroke Board of Selectmen will get a chance to share their opinion at the next selectmen’s meeting, set to take place on Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Pembroke Town Hall.