High water and high tide make high drama in Gardiner | News
GARDINER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - High water is causing problems around the Kennebec River.
In downtown Gardiner, the roaring Cobbossee Stream caused Maine DOT engineers to worry about the safety of two bridges: the Water Street bridge and the Route 201 bridge on Bridge Street.
The state monitors water level on more than a hundred critical bridges, using color-coded placards. Engineers say they worry about rushing water undermining the foundations of older bridges like the two in Gardiner. If stream levels read the red mark on the gauge, they say closing the bridge becomes a real possibility.
Two Gardiner businesses, the A-1 Diner and Dennis' Pizza, are located right on the end of the Route 201 bridge, and the owners of those businesses were very worried about the possibility of closure. Both said it would cost them customers.
As the tide on the Kennebec River rose Monday afternoon, the MDOT did close the Water Street bridge, but decided to keep the Route 201 bridge open.
Engineers say they will keep watch on Cobbossee Stream overnight, and particularly at the next high tide, scheduled for sometime after 3:00 AM. The Water Street bridge will remain closed until at least Tuesday morning, when the DOT can evaluate it again.