Well-Wishers from both sides of the Piscataqua gathered in Portsmouth today to celebrate the opening of the new Memorial Bridge, after two years of construction.
There were bicyclers, bridge-enthusiasts from near and far, police and bomb-squad dogs, construction workers, balloons, children, a brass band, and lots of reporters all pressed together on the entrance of the new Memorial bridge joining Portsmouth and Kittery.
Members of both the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations were there.
After a history of closures, repairs and re-openings which mottle its 88-year lifespan, the Memorial Bridge replacement project has begun. The bridge which crosses the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine, is set for completion as early as July, 2013.
The "float-out", which is the removal of the lift span and the first stage of demolition, is scheduled for today.
The Governor and Executive Council are expected to approve a contract for replacement of the Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.
If approved, the bridge will be in place by July 2013. The total price tag is $81 million dollars. New Hampshire, Maine and the Federal Government will split the cost. Speaking at a Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Project Manager Keith Coda with DOT said the new bridge will closely replicate the old span.