Home » News » Public Safety
Crews battle brutal cold to reopen Portsmouth bridge
The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge remains stuck about a foot over the roadway preventing vehicular or marine traffic from passing on Thursday. (Gretyl Macalaster/Union Leader Correspondent)
The lift span of the "middle" bridge connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine became stuck about a foot above the roadway during a routine lift on Wednesday afternoon closing the bridge to both vehicular and marine traffic.
The span went askew when being lowered and actually jumped its guides, causing structural steel damage in the process, according to officials with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.
On Thursday afternoon, Steve Johnson, assistant administrator for bridge maintenance with NH DOT, said he did not yet have a timeline on when the bridge would be fixed, but said it was unlikely to be open by Friday morning.
He said the damaged guides have to removed to get the span back in its grid before the guides are repaired and additional safety steel is fabricated and put in place to prevent the problem from happening again.
Steel fabrication was underway at the NH DOT's Franklin yard on Thursday, Johnson said.
"It's not an easy job, even in good weather," Johnson said.
He said crews had been out since 7 a.m. and were working as quickly as they can to get the bridge repaired with an Irving oil tanker waiting upstream to get out and large boats expected to arrive this weekend.
Bill Boynton, spokesman with NH DOT said the preferred position for the bridge's lift span would be up to allow marine shipping traffic to get through, but right now, the span is stuck where it is.
With the Memorial Bridge connecting the two states via Route One out of commission until July, vehicular traffic has all been re-routed over the I-95 high-rise bridge for the time being.
The Sarah Mildred Long bridge is the state's number one "red-listed" bridge, meaning it is the bridge most in need of repair.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Nashua man critical after being hit by box truck - 0
- Durham fire chief considered for similar post in Natick, Mass. - 0
- Wood-drying kiln heavily damaged by fire - 0
- FinnaRageTV uses Keene for promotion - 0
- After Keene riot, PSU campus on alert as party plan is spread by social media - 1
- 2-alarm Manchester fire displaces 10 - 0
- Missing Mason man found dead - 0
- Nashua police chief to retire - 0
- Pinkerton student taken to hospital after being hit by car - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- John Habib's City Sports: St. Thomas coach: I owe Central - 0
- Armed burglar from Derry sentenced to prison - 0
- 'Bingo hunting' police use random license plate checks to make arrest - 0
- Bedford police investigating burglary at Verizon Wireless store - 0
- Police: Manchester man charged with endangering child after going 101 mph - 0
- FairPoint customer concerned about blocked emails - 0
- Plaistow narrows field in search for its new police chief - 0
- Man faces robbery, assault charges after extradition from NY - 0
- Hershey Bears shut out Monarchs - 0
Hockey brought them together; Hooksett ice rink will serve as NH couple's 'church' for wedding
NH Audubon's Rare Bird Alert
Dartmouth women skaters beat Union
Armed burglar from Derry sentenced to prison