|For Immediate Release
December 9, 2010
Public Information Office
|Memorial Bridge Being Closed For Necessary Repairs
Portsmouth, NH - Kittery, ME Bridge (US 1) To Be Closed To Vehicle Traffic Indefinitely
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) announce the closure to motor vehicle traffic of the Memorial Bridge carrying US Route 1 over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.
The bridge closure will take place at 12:00 PM today (12/9/10). Based upon a detail review of the most recent detailed inspection of the Memorial Bridge, engineers at the NHDOT, the lead agency on this lift bridge, have determined the closure is necessary due to the deterioration of two gusset plates. One gusset plate is located on the Maine fixed span, and one is located on the New Hampshire fixed span. Both locations are on the upstream side of the bridge. Gusset plates connect bridge beams or truss members to load-bearing columns.
The Memorial Bridge will remain open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the downstream sidewalk. Bridge lift operations will continue for marine traffic.
Signed detours will be in place on both sides of the Piscataqua River during the bridge closure directing motorists to either the Sarah Long Bridge (US 1 Bypass) or the Interstate 95 high level bridge.
The NHDOT is looking at potential repair options, and will decide in consultation with the Maine DOT what can be done to reopen the bridge to a three-ton weight limit.