FREEPORT — A portion of Flying Point Road is closed until further notice.
Officials said the section of the road over Kelsey Brook, between John’s Road and Lupin Lane, will be closed so construction crews can stabilize the road over a culvert.
Town Engineer Albert Presgraves said the area was already under construction when it was determined Monday afternoon that it is unsafe for any traffic.
“It had to be closed immediately,” he said. “The contractor said he will proceed with construction and should be open to one lane traffic as soon as possible.”
Presgraves said the cost of the project – about $425,000 – will not increase.
Residents will not be cut off completely, but the closure will create an eight- or nine-mile detour, he said. Drivers will have to use Pleasant Hill Road, Highland Road and Bunganuc Road to get around the area.
Town Manager Dale Olmstead said Flying Point Road had been reduced to one lane while the Kelsey Brook culvert was being replaced. He said the contractor, R.J. Grondin & Sons Construction of Gorham, determined the road was unsafe.
“No one anticipated the bank becoming as unstable as it has become,” Olmstead said. “It was caving in in places and crumbling in others. It became too dangerous to pass.”
Olmstead said the contractor was working on two solutions to fix the road, using concrete pins or metal sheets, and would know more after testing the stability.
He said if one of the solutions works, the town will announce a projected opening date soon. He said residents will receive notification via automated telephone calls as soon as information is available.
“I know some people are upset, but it is a safety issue,” Olmstead said. “It is an inconvenience to some, but safety is the main concern.”
Fire Chief Darrel Fournier said a fire engine has been placed at 75 Flying Point Road to respond to calls. He said the town of Brunswick has agreed to respond to all emergency medical service and fire calls on the other side of the culvert.
“We have a good plan in place to maintain public safety during the closure,” he said. “Both departments are working together to handle the situation.”
Police Lt. Susan Nourse also said Brunswick will also assist in the event of a police emergency.
“We work with Brunswick a lot, but the road closure is a bit different because it is a longer time frame,” she said. “We will work together to handle the situation.”
A line of vehicles makes its way past Mitchell Ledge Farm on Flying Point Road around 5 p.m. Monday, a few minutes before the Freeport road was closed because of culvert problems.
Flying Point Road over the Kelsey Brook culvert in Freeport will be closed indefinitely.
The detour around the Flying Point Road closure in Freeport takes drivers to Pleasant Hill Road, Highland Road and Bunganuc Road.