By Bill Kirk
---- — METHUEN — Police blocked off Hampshire Road in the northwest corner of the city for several hours yesterday while a public works crew repaired a broken sewer line that partially undermined the roadway.
The road closure started around noon, according to Methuen police Lt. Michael Wnek.
He said about a third of the width of the road was “caved in” due to the break.
Police in Pelham, N.H., were notified of the problem, as Hampshire Road is a common commuter route for residents of southern New Hampshire trying to get to and from Interstate-93 or Route 28.
Police were stationed on Hampshire Road at Pelham Street to the east and Ridgewood Road, the entrance to Forest Lake, to the west, to stop cars from driving down the road.
However, emergency vehicles are allowed, Wnek said.
Public Works Director Ray DiFiore said an 8-inch sewer line broke and that it caused a “depression” in the roadway caused by the line rupturing.
He said there were no environmental problems, despite the presence of nearby wetlands, and that the pipe would be repaired around 5 or 6 p.m.
“We dug down and are replacing it,” he said.
Wnek said that unfortunately, there was no detour set up, but that cars were being turned back the way they came.
People trying to get home to New Hampshire or a handful of homes in the area had to find alternate routes around the blockage.