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: 0
- Tractor-trailer pulls down poles, wires, closing part of Route 28 in Epsom - 0
- Commission honors seven for contributions to state firefighter training - 0
- Lost hikers found safe in Gilsum - 1
- Woman thrown from horse, injured - 0
- Stove ash blamed for Manchester garage fire - 0
- Derry Battalion Chief calls firefighter son a 'hero' for rescuing two boys from Hood Pond - 1
- Epsom trucker, 65, killed in I-93 crash in Salem - 0
- Two taken to hospital after suffering burns in Wolfeboro house fire - 0
- Crews on scene of accident on I-93 in Salem - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: It took a while, but now they're on Wright track - 0
- Newmarket blacksmith has forged a career shaping the elementsof steel - 0
- Kathy Sullivan: We need to rethink some of our county government positions - 0
- Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass. - 0
- H.S. Football Power Poll: No doubt - Astros finish on top - 0
- College Hockey: Wildcats home to RPI on Tuesday night - 0
- Manchester school board OK's contract for driver’s ed program - 0
- Unrest erupts after grand jury decides against charges in Ferguson, Mo., shooting - 0
- Malkin, Crosby foil Bruins in overtime - 0
Clinton has 'historic' lead in poll
Sources say former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card to be tapped as Franklin Pierce president
Randy Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz lead HOF ballot
Tough task for NH budget writers
Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass.
Teacher 'thrilled' at being reinstated
Paul, Christie share lead in primary poll
NH senators react to Hagel resignation