KINGSTON — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's boat access facility at Powwow Pond has been closed due to silt and debris that drifted down from the Powwow River Bridge construction site.

Road Agent Richard St. Hilaire said the debris became an issue when a boater recently launched his boat from the facility, stirring up silt on top of a large tarp.

"There were a couple of boats launched that brushed silt off the top of a big, heavy tarp that was in the water," St. Hilaire said. "That exposed the tarp and, in one instance, the end of the tarp got caught in the prop of someone's boat."

St. Hilaire said that was when the decision was made to close the facility. Divers will be in the water today checking for other debris and safety hazards, he said.

St. Hilaire said some other debris also floated down from the bridge, including sandbags.

"When the new bridge was built, a temporary coffer dam was constructed to hold the water back so we'd have a dry area to work in," he said. "But some sandbags were left when they removed the dam."

Michael Racine, the statewide public boat access coordinator with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, said those sandbags have drifted near the boat launch, which is within feet of the new bridge.

"There's just a few things in the water, some construction debris in sight, like sandbags," Racine said. "It's always been a shallow site. The ramp is pretty shallow."

But Racine said he hasn't heard complaints from residents since it will only be for a short time.

"We tried to time the construction to be over before boat season," he said. "But it just didn't end up that way."

The boat launch will be closed to trailers until the construction of the Powwow River Bridge comes to an end, Racine said.

St. Hilaire said he expected construction to be finished by next Thursday, a week after the divers clear up the area. Meanwhile, car-top access is still available.

"The majority of boaters in the area use the facility for canoes and kayaks," Racine said. "Those are the main types. They can still park in the same area and put their boat in on the other side of the road."


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