ROADS/BRIDGES: TIGER grant makes Sarah Mildred Long Bridge a reality

$158.5 million project will be shared between Maine and New Hampshire

Bridges News November 26, 2014
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Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, N.H. are about to become truly connected, following the announcement of a formal agreement between the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) and Cianbro Corporation (Pittsfield, Maine) to construct the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.
 
The precast segmental concrete bridge will span the Piscataqua River, serving seacoast residents of both states and adding a strong artery for interstate commerce. The project was bid at $158.5 million, and the cost is to be split between the states. The new bridge’s lift span will have a deck capable of rising to make way for shipping and lowering to allow rail crossing. Furthermore, the deck will sit much higher than its previous elevation, which is expected to undercut the need to raise the bridge for ship allowance by more than 60%. In addition, navigation width will be increased, to compensate for the breadth of modern shipping requirements.
 
Beginning in December, in-water work will begin, culminating in a bridge closure expected to last six to nine months, during which time traffic will be diverted to the Piscataqua River Bridge on I-95. MaineDOT has alos announced its intention to hold a series of public forums to keep citizens apprised of the project’s status on a biannual basis.
 
This announcement comes on the heels of a Sept. 2014 TIGER grant of $25 million made to Maine and New Hampshire for the rail portion of the bridge. DOT members on both sides of the river, as well as those states’ respective Congressional members, have cited this funding boost as crucial to getting the project off the ground.
 
Construction will continue year round until completion, with the bridge scheduled to open to traffic in Sept. 2017.

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