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January 23. 2013 5:06PM

Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Portsmouth stuck, closed

PORTSMOUTH - The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge was closed to traffic Wednesday afternoon after becoming stuck about a foot above the roadway.

The bridge span was lifted in the afternoon as a cold-weather exercise and became out of line when being lowered back down, Bill Boynton, spokesman with the state Department of Transportation said.

Boynton said this sometimes happens, but the problem is compounded by damage to the tracks in which the span runs.

NHDOT Commissioner Chris Clement and other officials visited the bridge on Wednesday to assess the problem and see when and how it can be fixed.

Boynton said he was told it could be a while.?

"We're not sure how long it is going to take to fix it at this point,"? Boynton said.

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge was built in the 1940s and is New Hampshire's number-one red-list bridge. It is one of two bridges currently connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, while the Memorial Bridge is under construction.

The middle bridge of the three has been plagued with problems and has a weight limit.

Traffic was rerouted to the I-95 high-level bridge on Wednesday.


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