Gen Sullivan Bridge Replacement Hits Major Funding Snag

Oct. 5, 2023
New bridge was projected by NHDOT to be built by the end of 2026.

Plans to replace New Hampshire's old General Sullivan Bridge with a new bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians has hit a major snag, as the bid to construct it was almost double the state’s estimate. 

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has opted not to award an $82.2 million bid to Reed & Reed of Woolwich, Maine to remove the bridge and replace it with a bicyclist and pedestrian connection. The department's estimate at the time of the bid was just under $45.6 million. 

“The department has decided not to award the bid for the Newington-Dover General Sullivan Bridge project. The single bid received was almost double our estimate,” said NHDOT spokesperson Richard Arcand to Foster's Daily Democrat. “We are going to reevaluate to see what changes should be considered and rebid at a future date.”

The 1,528-foot-long bridge, constructed in 1934 as a connector between Newington and Dover, carried vehicular traffic until 1984. That's when the Little Bay bridges opened both northbound and southbound lanes, and they still carry routes 4, 16 and Spaulding Turnpike traffic alongside the old bridge. The General Sullivan Bridge remained open to bicyclists and pedestrians until its permanent closure in 2018, when it was deemed unsafe.

Replacing the General Sullivan Bridge would pave the way for an 18-foot-wide walking and biking path to be built. The new structure would have a concrete deck with at least 3-foot-wide shoulders and a delta frame construction, according to NHDOT. 

The new bridge has previously been projected by NHDOT to be built by the end of 2026, with the entire project expected to be finished by the following summer. 

Even with the $20 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant NHDOT was awarded for the project, the department is still left with millions to cover the new bid. 


Source: Foster's Daily Democrat