A portion of Pushaw Road in Glenburn collasped last Saturday when heavy rain washed away one of culverts that carries a stream under the road. The Maine Department of Transportation is working to repair the damage, but it will likely take several days. Credit: Courtesy of Andy Ryder of the Glenburn Fire Department

It will likely take days and hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore a portion of a Glenburn road that collapsed due to heavy rain over the weekend.

Heavy rainfall Friday night into Saturday overwhelmed two culverts that allow a stream to pass under Pushaw Road, and the pavement succumbed to the water. The damage was discovered Saturday morning.

The washed-out portion of road is located between 1171 and 1188 Pushaw Road.

One of the two culverts, which was 3 feet in diameter, washed away while the other, a 4-foot-wide culvert, remained intact, according to Maine Department of Transportation spokesperson Paul Merrill.

The Maine DOT plans to replace the old culverts with larger ones that are 4 and 6 feet wide, respectively. Merrill estimated that work could cost between $300,000 to $500,000.

Replacing old culverts with larger ones isn’t uncommon, Merrill said, as the state responds to increased water in some areas and larger storms — both symptoms of climate change.

In the meantime, local traffic is being redirected on a 7-mile detour to circumvent the closed portion of the road. Merrill said all local residents should still be able to access their homes.

“We know it’s inconvenient for folks, but we’re trying to do it with as much speed and little cost as possible,” Merrill said. “We’re supposed to get more rain and anything can happen, but we’re already talking about mobilizing and scheduling. We’re talking about days of inconvenience instead of weeks.”

Pushaw Road snakes through the western part of Glenburn along Pushaw Lake, connecting Broadway and Hudson Road. The section of Pushaw Road that collapsed carried 3,000 to 4,000 cars daily, according to Maine DOT data. Several dead-end residential roads stem from Pushaw Road.

Glenburn Deputy Fire Chief Andy Ryder said the open gash in the road was impressive to look at, but cautioned residents not to get too close when they see road damage like that, as other sections of the pavement around it are likely unstable and could collapse.

“We had many people try to get close — often too close — not realizing the danger,” Ryder said. “Some of the exposed pavement had nothing holding it up underneath. If you see a flooded road or a washout, turn around and don’t risk it. Luckily, this was discovered before anyone got hurt.”

Most Mainers saw significant rain at some point late last week, which caused some local flooding. Rainfall totals reached up to 6 inches in some areas of southern and western Maine, according to the Caribou office of the National Weather Service. Rainfall at Bangor International Airport totaled 4.9 inches Friday night into Saturday morning.

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Kathleen O'Brien

Kathleen O'Brien is a reporter covering the Bangor area. Born and raised in Portland, she joined the Bangor Daily News in 2022 after working as a Bath-area reporter at The Times Record. She graduated from...