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Project Information > Project Specific Information

Public Hearing plans, meeting notes and other project-specific documents for Department of Transportation road and bridge projects are available for viewing or download here. Depending on your Internet connection, larger files may take several minutes to download. Please Be Patient!

Note: The documents available below are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as final or complete unless otherwise noted.

Project: New Castle-Rye 16127 Status: Design
Scope of Work:

The project is located in the towns of New Castle and Rye, Rockingham County. The project entails the rehabilitation or replacement of the New Castle-Rye Bridge (No. 066/071) that carries NH1B over Little Harbor, an outlet of the Piscataqua River. The town of New Castle is an archipelago, or series of islands, connected to the mainland via bridges. The bridge is the principal access to the southwest portion of the main island, Great Island. The other access is via a causeway (also carrying NH1B) to the northwest of the Great Island that connects several smaller islands to the mainland and the City of Portsmouth.

The bridge was built in 1941-42 and replaced an earlier drawbridge, which had itself replaced an earlier span. It is located in a tidal area where the water elevation has an eight to nine-foot variation between high and low tides. The bridge is comprised of five approach spans and one bascule lift span.

The bridge was rehabilitated in 1975 and additional repairs were made in 1978 and 2010. NHDOT performed and in‐depth inspection of the bridge in 2011; at which time performed some steel repairs. In 2013, NHDOT prepared a Bridge, Type, Size and Location Study (TS&L) that evaluated the Replacement with Bascule and Major Rehabilitation Alternatives. The TS&L concluded that rehabilitation was not feasible and that a full replacement is necessary due to the bridge’s deteriorated condition and because it is not designed to today’s structural standards.

The development of this project is guided by Public Advisory Committee (PAC), formed in early 2013, to advise NHDOT and its consultant team in evaluating and selecting a design alternative. This committee is comprised of town officials from New Castle and Rye, emergency responders, abutters and other civic leaders. Several public information meetings have been held between 2013-18.

In 2014, concerns were raised by members of the public about replacing the bridge with a movable bascule given the limited number of openings a year. Instead, a fixed bridge was suggested for study. NHDOT met with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Dredge Management Task Force to discuss the two alternatives. In mid-2014 a request was made for NHDOT to conduct a Benefit-Cost Analysis to compare the Replacement with Bascule and Replacement with Fixed Span Alternative. The analysis concluded the life cycle costs associated with a bascule bridge would be approximately $10 million more than a fixed bridge.

In 2015, NHDOT selected a fixed bridge as the preferred alternative and submitted this alternative to the U.S. Coast Guard for preliminary review. After conducting a public hearing and review, the U.S. Coast Guard made a preliminary determination in 2016 that a bridge replacement should provide at least 16.52 feet of vertical clearance to provide for the current and prospective needs of navigation on waters upstream of the existing NH Route 1B Bridge. Based in part on this preliminary determination, NHDOT selected a two-span fixed bridge alternative.

Contact: Jennifer E. Reczek, P.E.
Telephone: (603) 271-3401
Available Files:


Cultural Resources Coordination

Cultural Resources coordination occurrs with NH Division of Historical Resources, Federal Highway Administration & Consulting Parties under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

Natural Resources Coordination
United States Coast Guard

2015 Navigation Report & Preliminary Determination

PAC Meeting #7
August 27, 2020

PAC Meeting #6
May 24, 2018

PAC/Public Informational Meeting
May 4, 2017
Public Informational Meeting
February 5, 2015

PAC Meeting #5
December 4, 2014

Public Informational Meeting
May 28th, 2014
PAC Meeting #4
April 24, 2014
Public Informational Meeting
January 30, 2014
PAC Meetiing #3
January 9, 2014
Public Informational Meeting
August 14, 2013
PAC Meeting #2
July 23, 2013
PAC Meeting #1
January 24, 2013
Kickoff Meeting
November 20, 2012

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH | 03302-0483
Tel: 603.271-3734 | Fax: 603.271.3914

copyright 2015. State of New Hampshire