The Androscoggin River surges under the Frank J. Wood bridge on Thursday, three days after the storm prompted the Maine DOT to close the bridge. It reopened Friday. Courtesy of Maine Department of Transportation

The Maine Department of Transportation reopened the aging Frank J. Wood Bridge connecting Brunswick to Topsham on Friday morning, three days after closing it because of high water levels from Monday’s severe storm, which required repairs to an approach road and bridge sidewalk.

But as of Friday afternoon, the agency was still working to repair and reopen 10 other bridges and 21 roads across the state damaged or outright washed away by the so-called “Grinch” storm that soaked much of the East Coast Sunday into Monday, according to an agency statement.

While some infrastructure is still plagued by high water, eleven of the road closures are due to trees and power lines still being in the roadway, the department says. Most of the roads and bridges that remain closed are in Franklin and Oxford counties.

The storm dumped 6 to 8 inches of rain on parts of Maine, flooding roads and causing rivers to surge. The highest rainfall total was recorded in Newry, which logged 7.6 inches. The storm was blamed for at least four deaths and knocked out power to nearly 500,000 at its peak.

The Androscoggin River reached near-record heights due to the storm. The U.S. Geological Survey data show the Androscoggin reached a height of 20.27 feet at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. On Monday at 12:15 a.m., before the water started rising, the river had been at just 6.51 feet.

The Department of Transportation said the new Brunswick-Topsham bridge it is building was not affected by this week’s storm.


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