Home » News » Public Safety
Portsmouth's new Memorial Bridge floats in right on time
The first span of the new Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth is positioned Tuesday morning as workers and spectators look on. (Gretyl Macalaster/Union Leader Correspondent)
The south span of the new Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth was moved into place Tuesday morning after being constructed at the state pier on Market Street this fall. (Gretyl Macalaster/Union Leader Correspondent)
As they have for every major event around the massive construction project, people flocked to Prescott Park to watch and photograph the span’s arrival.
At around 9 a.m., the barge Cape Cod was guided downriver by tugboats from the state pier to the bridge site. The span was then turned and slowly aligned with the newly constructed Scott Avenue approach on the Portsmouth side of the bridge, and pier two in the middle of the river.
From there, the span was slowly lowered onto bearings to make sure the positioning was exact within a quarter of an inch.
On Tuesday evening, the barge Cape Cod was expected to be moved back to the state pier where construction of the north span of the bridge will begin. Over the coming month, the south tower will also be constructed piece by piece at the bridge site.
Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., were both in the Port City to mark the milestone in the bridge’s construction.
Hassan met with iron workers at the state pier in the morning before the float-in.
Shaheen spent the morning at the deck near One Harbour Place to watch the operation. Shaheen worked with her Maine counterparts to help secure a federal TIGER grant that helped fund the $90 million bridge project.
The new bridge is expected to be open to traffic sometime in July.
“It’s every exciting to see,” Shaheen said. “This is one more positive step in getting the new bridge across from Portsmouth to Kittery.”
Denis Switzer, contractor administrator with the Construction Bureau of the N.H. Department of Transportation, said Tuesday’s event was a “bonding moment” for the communities of Portsmouth and Kittery, as well as the transportation departments in both states.
“We are bringing these communities back together the closer we get to putting these pieces back together,” Switzer said as the barge moved into place.
Portsmouth Mayor Eric Spear was also at One Harbour Place to witness the historic event and said it is nice to see the bridge return in a demonstrable way.
The old Memorial Bridge, constructed in the 1920s, was closed to vehicular traffic in January 2012 amid long-standing safety concerns.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- NH has 1,300 guardrail ends targeted in federal safety suit - 1
- Carignan promoted to deputy police chief in Nashua - 0
- Alderman, chief have heated exchange over police residency requirements - 35
- Winter heating season means homeowners need to be alert - 0
- Teen driver hospitalized following accident in Rindge - 0
- Neighbor won't be charged in shooting death of Rumney chiropractor - 14
- Despite contract provisions, most Manchester police officers live outside city - 25
- Londonderry response team celebrates 10th anniversary - 0
- Police say to expect more arrests in wake of Keene chaos - 6
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Keene riots a focus of gubernatorial debate - 0
- Man arrested as Manchester West High School intruder indicted on felony charge - 0
- Keene police say one charged with riot on Saturday, another arrested could face riot charge - 0
- Manchester man indicted on charge he ordered murder of city man - 0
- Husband found guilty, wife awaiting trial in murder of St. Johnsbury, Vt. teacher - 0
- No murder charge in stabbing of Manchester man in 'Black Acres;' self-defense claimed - 1
- Ottawa police say male suspect in attack and soldier are dead - 1
- Keene police release riot images, seek help with identification - 0
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon to care for any potential NH Ebola patients, state announces - 0
Locked in a dead heat, Shaheen, Brown spar
NH's back-road rest areas fading away
Fall hikers throughout NH put on notice
Team Obama: Faking right, voting left
Fixing Obamacare: Shaheen offers no way out
Keene riots a focus of gubernatorial debate
Health costs up for Manchester
Preventing riots: What should Keene do?