The Route 17 culvert that collapsed in Jefferson last week has led to a month-long road closure for replacement by the Maine Department of Transportation.
According to a press release from the department, a new culvert being built this month will have an expected lifespan of 100 years.
Department spokesperson Damian Veilleux said the culvert was already slated for replacement this summer before it collapsed on the evening of Feb. 21. He said the department does not know how the existing pipe failed, but routine inspections had showed it was in poor condition from corrosion.
The failed culvert has an 11 1/2-foot span and will be replaced with a 14-by-6-foot concrete box culvert, according to Veilleux. The new culvert will have an 84-square-foot opening, 20 square feet larger than that of the existing steel convert.
This larger culvert will be more resilient because of its size, according to the press release. Its construction keeps a section of Route 17 closed until Friday, March 24.
The closed area is east of the road’s intersection with Route 32, near the former Peaslee’s Quick Stop.
The reconstruction will be completed by T. Buck Construction, of Turner, with a $1,496,111 contract. The contract was awarded in the fall of 2022 because replacement was anticipated, according to Veilleux.
An 11-mile detour is in place using routes 32, 126, and 220.