This sinkhole, about 14 feet deep, opened on Route 62 in Danvers in March of 2010 after a culvert under the street collapsed. The culvert, which was patched at the time, will be replaced this summer.

DANVERS — When the weather finally heats up, motorists will have to steer around Route 62 as the town makes repairs under the roadway that collapsed four years ago.

The town has awarded a contract for repairs to busy Maple Street (Route 62) between Summer and Vineyard streets, and the work is scheduled for this summer. The street could be closed for a month as a culvert under the street is replaced. The culvert collapsed in March 2010, causing a sinkhole the size of a car to open in the roadway.

The town patched the culvert at the time, but it now needs to be replaced.

Route 62 carries about 18,000 vehicles a day west of State Road (at the Elliott Street exit off Route 128), according to a 2008 traffic count by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The project is being scheduled for summer to minimize disruption to schools, Town Manager Wayne Marquis said. Detours will be set up, sending traffic headed toward Middleton up Summer Street and down Spring Street to Route 62. This detour takes traffic through the heart of the St. John’s Prep campus.

Traffic heading toward Danvers Square and Beverly would be sent down Vineyard and Pickering streets, then onto Beaver Park Road and back onto to Route 62.

“We worry about the impact on traffic,” Assistant Town Manager Diane Norris said at a recent meeting, “but we are only going to be 30 days.”

Marquis said there may be times when at least one lane can be open to minimize the time when there is a total road closure.

Marquis said the town is also trying to coordinate the street closing with a state project, the $8.6 million replacement of two crumbling culverts carrying the Porter River under Liberty Street. The town does not want both Liberty and Maple streets to be closed at the same time.

In 2011, Town Meeting appropriated $875,000 for the Maple Street culvert replacement. The town recently awarded the contract to low bidder Albanese D&S Inc. of Dracut.

State work to repair the bridge spanning Water Street is also ongoing. So far, that work has proceeded without the need to close Route 35 between Peabody and Danvers.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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