CANTON – Drivers whose route includes the Gilbertville Bridge should give themselves a little extra time starting Monday at 5 a.m.

The crossing of the Androscoggin River at that point will be out of commission for five days so that the 70-year-old bridge can be moved 50 feet upstream. The railroad tracks on the Canton side of the bridge will also undergo extensive work, including raising the grade about three feet, said Mark Buckbee, project manager for Reed and Reed, the construction firm that is doing the bridge work.

The steel-trussed bridge will serve as a temporary bridge while a modern steel and concrete bridge is being built.

Buckbee said signs detouring people to alternative routes will be clearly marked along routes 4, 2 and 108. Most drivers, whether coming from the north or south will likely be required to go at least five miles out of their way during the five-day period.

The bridge is expected to be in place by 5 a.m. on Saturday, July 19.

The entire bridge replacement project is expected to be completed by August of 2004.

The old bridge will be dropped into the river, floated to shore, then chopped up for possible recycling.

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