FARMINGTON — A company executive confirmed that the Dead River Company pulled its trucks from Whittier Road months ago, based on a worsening riverbank erosion problem that threatens the road’s existence.

“Because we don’t actually need to be on the road, she decided that this would be a good time not to have our trucks there,” said Gerry Tracy, regional manager for Dead River.

Tracy said that the company made the decision in the spring, when the extent of the problem was first publicized.

The company’s Farmington district manager, Sally Dyer, made the decision after consulting with the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency.

“She made a good decision,” Tracy said.

Tim Hardy, the agency’s director, said that the decision was motivated by safety concerns.

“I think it was to protect the workers and a liability issue,” he said.

Tracy said that he wasn’t sure whether the primary concern was worker safety or whether it was to protect the road from further damage.

The distance between the road and the bank of the Sandy River has shrunk to about 30 feet since last August, when tropical storm Irene caused a major bank failure.

Hardy said that he agrees with the town’s assessment that the road could fail between now and July, the earliest that work can take place.

The town has been seeking approval for a bank stabilization project from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but concerns about the possible impact of the project on the endangered Atlantic salmon have slowed the processing of the request.

In the meantime, heavy traffic on the road causes vibrations, which can accelerate the rate of erosion, according to Town Manager Richard Davis.

Hardy said that both he and the town are monitoring the situation closely to make a determination about when and if to close the road to the public.

“I used to go down once a week. Now I’m going down twice a week,” Hardy said.

After Dead River pulled its fleet of approximately six oil and propane delivery trucks from the road, the town decided to impose a weight limit on the road of 23,000 pounds.

School buses are exempted from the weight limits, and the district has not yet made a decision to avoid the road.

David Leavitt, the transportation director for the Farmington School District, has said that the district’s buses make about 20 trips daily on the road.

The bus routes could be reworked to avoid Whittier, but it would come with an added cost, and longer bus rides, Leavitt said.

The town, the district, and the county agency are all monitoring the situation closely, and Leavitt said that he will reroute buses if safety becomes an issue.

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