JEFFERSON — Route 17 in Jefferson, closed since a Feb. 21 culvert collapse, reopened to traffic Friday night after contractors completed work installing the new conduit.

The road, a major route between central and coastal Maine, was closed east of Route 32, near Peaslee’s Quick Stop after a culvert collapsed, forcing an 11-mile detour around the site.

Contractor T Buck Construction of Turner completed the installation a week ahead of schedule and the road reopened to traffic Friday around 6:30 p.m., according to a release from Maine Department of Transportation.

The new, larger culvert has an expected service life of 100 years.

The replacement project cost nearly $1.5 million.

The 11-mile detour took motorists on state Routes 32, 126 and 220, through Jefferson before connecting back to Route 17.

MDOT officials said the cause of the collapse was unknown, but that it had been due to be repaired.

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