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BELLOWS FALLS — Preparations began last week for a construction project on the New Arch Bridge between Bellows Falls and North Walpole, N.H., that will turn the busy crossing into a one-lane bridge through the summer.

The bridge, which is known by New Hampshire officials as the Church Street Bridge, is undergoing its first major rehabilitation since its construction in the early 1980s.

Rockingham Town Manager Scott Pickup said the traffic impacts and backups in Bellows Falls last week were significant, and he said it was a sign of more to come.

“It’s going to be a summer of disruption,” he said. “We’ll do the best we can.”