Sarah Long Bridge

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The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is beginning an inspection of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge that connects Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

The New Hampshire DOT is warning motorists to expect delays due to lane closures when the inspection begins June 1.

The inspection is slated to last all week and could carry into the following Monday.

The U.S. 1 bridge, which is rated structurally deficient, is being replaced by a new, $160 million bridge, but the new bridge won't be finished in 2017.

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The National Transportation Safety Board has released a report including details about a 2013 collision between a 473 foot cargo tanker docked in Portsmouth and the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.

The authors report the vessel needed maintenance and was not adequately attached at the wharf.

New Hampshire Director of Ports and Harbors, Geno Marconi, says he knew the port was not responsible, because saw the collision from the dock:

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A ceremony is scheduled to mark the start of construction at an aging bridge that connects New Hampshire and Maine.

The 70-year-old Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine. It is rated structurally deficient.

On Monday at 10 a.m., dignitaries from both states are gathering at the Kittery Community Center at Frisbee Common to mark the official start of the project. Members of the public will have a chance to sign a commemorative construction trestle that will be installed on the project later in the week.

Maine Department of Transportation

  A $25 million federal grant will subsidize the replacement of the aging Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.

The states applied for the grant together, which was awarded Monday.

In particular, the grant will fund the railroad tracks that go over the bridge along the route 1 bypass. These tracks are used by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to remove nuclear waste.

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The states of New Hampshire and Maine have reached a $1.3 million settlement with the owner of a tanker that struck the Sarah Long Bridge, forcing it to close for a six-week period last year.

Last April, the Portuguese tanker Harbour Feature broke loose from its mooring, striking the bridge that connects Portsmouth with Kittery, Maine.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says the $1.3 million settlement is split evenly between the two states.

Muffet / Flickr Creative Commons

1/24/13 AP Update: 

Work has started to fix a lift bridge between New Hampshire and Maine that had gotten stuck and caused traffic problems along the seacoast.

The work could take up to two days. Conditions weren't optimal: Workers started at 7 a.m. Thursday in subzero weather. By noon, it got up to 12 degrees in Portsmouth.

Department spokesman Bill Boynton said authorities were performing a routine test on Sarah Long Bridge on Wednesday when it failed to close all the way, becoming stuck about a foot over the roadbed.

Another bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery Maine is undergoing emergency repairs.

Side railings on the Sarah Long, or Middle Bridge are so rusty; they present a hazard to any vehicle that accidentally slides into them. So, the two states are taking emergency measures to protect motorists.

Bill Boynton, with New Hampshire’s Department of Transportation, says that steel Jersey Barriers will be installed along the length of the 2800 foot span.