Wilton road damaged by heavy rains

WILTON – Heavy rains on Wednesday, Aug. 13, caused a section of King Brook Road near the stone arch bridge to collapse, sending several hundred feet of bank on the downstream side of the bridge into the brook.

King Brook is a lightly used road that spans from Route 31 South (Greenville Road) into the Kimball Heights section of town where it connects with roads leading to New Ipswich. Jersey barriers have been placed along the damaged area, and the road is officially closed. However, one lane is currently open for local traffic.

Selectmen Chairman Bill Condra said water apparently got under the asphalt along the side of the road and loosened it, causing the steep bank to slide.

Condra said the arch would “definitely be repaired and restored.”

He added, “We will have to find the money somewhere and get it repaired before it snows.”

The fallen granite blocks have been retrieved from the brook and are piled on one side waiting the rebuilding of the side walls.

The stone arch was repaired in the early 1970s, according to former Road Agent Charlie McGettigan, although he was not the Road Agent at the time.

The bridge was widened by about six feet on the upstream side by stone mason “Bud” McEntee, of Lyndeborough.

“He did it the old way,” McGettigan said, “built the framework to build the arch over.”

The town had suggested replacing the damaged arch with a steel culvert, but area residents protested, said they wanted to keep the old arch.