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Jackman road washout forces 143-mile detour

NEWS CENTER Maine meteorologist Jason Nappi said rain, thunderstorms, and a stalled frontal boundary contributed to flooding in the area.

JACKMAN, Maine — Update:

Crews have reopened Route 6/15 in Jackman to all vehicle traffic Wednesday evening after a road washout on Tuesday forced some drivers to take a 143-mile detour. 

According to a Twitter post by the Maine Department of Transportation, "hardworking crews in Region 3" helped to open the road one day after its closure. 

Original story:

Flooding has caused a section of road in Jackman to wash away.

In a social media post on Tuesday, the Maine Department of Transportation said a culvert failed on State Route 6, which merges and combines with State Route 15. 

The spot where the road washed out is one mile east of Route 201.

The suggested detour from Maine DOT is a long one.

"We have closed the road," Maine DOT said in the social media post. "There is a 143-mile-long detour that involves Routes 201 and 16. Our crews are working to repair the road as quickly as possible."

Commenters on the Maine DOT's Facebook post said a Route 6 cutoff between U.S. Route 201 and State Route 15 gives drivers a detour around the washout. Maine DOT spokesperson Paul Merrill said Maine DOT only gives detour options that vehicles of all weights can use, but these alternative detours could be viable options for some vehicles.

"I believe the 143-mile-long one is the one that uses state roads," Merrill said in an email to NEWS CENTER Maine. "We know that there are probably shorter options using local (or even private) roads, but we give out the one that can be used by all users at all vehicle weights that are allowed on the closed road."

Merrill said the Maine DOT's goal is to reopen the road by the end of the week.

RELATED: NEWS CENTER Maine Weather Forecast

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the area Monday. NEWS CENTER Maine meteorologist Jason Nappi said rain, thunderstorms, and a stalled frontal boundary contributed to the flooding.

NEWS CENTER Maine viewer Bill Jarvis, who lives in the area, reported about 4 inches of rain in a span of about 36 hours where he lives.

A similar road washout occurred in Cyr Plantation in Aroostook County back in May. Merrill said the circumstances in Jackman are similar.

"Similar to what happened in Cyr Plantation. Heavy rain events and severe weather can be rough on infrastructure," he explained. "We’ve been focusing on making infrastructure more resilient in recent years – upsizing culverts, raising bridges, etc. – as these weather events become more frequent."

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