Culvert collapse creates deep lakes in Gunstock Acres

GILFORD – A culvert collapse on Cumberland Road could cost the town as much as $75,000 to $100,000 to repair said Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan yesterday.

Morgan said the culvert, which is part of the drainage system for that part of Gunstock Acres that is closest to the Alton line, is the deepest in the town and transverses the lower part of the road about 100 yards in from Route 11.

He said the collapse created water build up on the southeast side of the road that "was dangerously close to spilling over and washing out the entire road."

"We're afraid to let it get any higher," he said.

Morgan described the water back-up as at the depth of a small lake - at it's inlet point it was 25-feet deep after the culvert collapse and at the outlet side it was 50 feet-deep.

He said culvert run through a ravine ran that was filled in the 1960s during some construction at Gunstock.

He said his department is using its pump plus two pumps borrowed from the city of Laconia to lower the pond level so they can accurately assess the problem. He was optimistic the pond would be low enough by the end of yesterday however he spoke to the Daily Sun before it rained all afternoon.

He said crews will likely fill in the existing culvert and build a slightly bigger one that will run over the old one.

"We're not going to take the old one out. It's too deep," he said.

He said construction should begin within a week and he is hopeful Cumberland Road is closed for no more than a week.

"Unfortunately, traffic will have to be diverted," he said.

He said the department has done about half of the road projects scheduled for this summer's construction season and said some of those left on this year's schedule may have to be postponed.

"We'll reevaluate everything and include our information in the next 10-year road improvement plan," he said.

This year, Wolcott paving and Busby Construction are the two companies the town chose for its subcontracting. Morgan said the scope of the project is beyond the equipment capabilities of Gilford's Public Works Department.

CAPTION: Rain continues to fall in the deep lake created by a collapsed culvert on Cumberland Road. Town crews are using three separate pumps and a series of hoses to channel the water under Cumberland Road through the ravine to prevent a road collapse.