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Peterborough water main repairs were a challenge for workers

Union Leader Correspondent

January 23. 2014 8:45PM

PETERBOROUGH — After working through freezing temperatures this week public works employees and private contractors have repaired a water main under the Chamber of Commerce driveway on Route 101 that burst on Monday.

Town public works employees responded to the break Monday afternoon. However, finding the exact location was difficult, said Peterborough Public Works Director Rodney Bartlett.

The 100-year-old water line is about 20-feet below the ground surface, Bartlett said. Typically water lines are five to 10 feet underground; however, this line which dates to about 1900 had been covered with material over the years from the late 1950s construction of the bridge at Route 101 and 202 and construction of Route 101.

“A lot of that area was filled in to come closer to the elevation of the new roadway,” Bartlett said, “a lot of history in that little corner.”

Town employees soon learned that the project would need outside help, he said.

“Late Monday night they realized the water main was deeper then we could reach with our equipment,” Bartlett said.

Mathewson Construction crews were brought in Tuesday to assist with larger excavation equipment.

Both crews worked through the freezing temperatures Tuesday night to find and repair the leak by mid-Wednesday, when another part of the water main burst, Bartlett said.

The second repair was completed mid-Thursday, he said.

A small number of water customers have been without water since Monday afternoon, but were to be back on line Thursday, he said.

Those without water included the Chamber of Commerce, the Big Apple Convenience Store and Shell Station and two homes on Bridge Street.

Bottled water was provided by the town to the homes and businesses during the break.

The Dunkin’ Donuts inside the Big Apple remained open by shuttling coffee from its Route 202 location to the Route 101 one, Bartlett said.

The repair cost is still being assessed.

The old water main is to be replaced in 2018 when the state replaces the bridge at Routes 101 and 202.

Public Safety Weather Peterborough

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