FARMINGTON — Whittier Road has been closed amid concerns that the rapidly rising Sandy River will destabilize the riverbank and cause the road to fail, according to town officials.

Town Manager Richard Davis said early this afternoon that the road could be reopened once the river water recedes.

“With additional rainfall expected and the river not anticipated to crest until noon tomorrow, we have decided to close the lower end of Whittier Road, at least temporarily,” he said.

For months, the town has been concerned that accelerated erosion along a portion of the river bank could undermine the heavily traveled roadway.

With a permanent solution not possible until next year because of federal concerns about the impact on endangered Atlantic salmon, local officials have prepared for a possible closure by building a new driveway for an affected home and preparing signs and road barriers.

The area was destabilized in August 2011 when Tropical Storm Irene caused a major portion of the riverbank to collapse.

Before making the call, Davis conducted an inspection of the site with Tim Hardy, the Franklin County Emergency Management director; Denis Castonguay, the public works department head; and Terry Bell, Farmington’s fire and rescue chief.