PORTSMOUTH - Damage to the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge caused when a tanker collided with it Monday is estimated at $2.5 million.
The bridge took a "big hit" when a 473-foot tanker came loose at the state pier and collided with the bridge, causing structural damage to a pier and structural supports.
Cianbro of Pittsfield, Maine has been hired by the Maine and New Hampshire departments of transportation to perform the repair work and has already begun steel fabrication, staging and mobilization.
Original, detailed fabrication drawings of the bridge dating back to the late 1930s were obtained from the company involved with the Long bridge's construction, Harrington & Cortelyou/BMcD, Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., which N.H. DOT officials said will help expedite the steel fabrication and repairs.
The work is expected to take about a month to complete.
NH DOT officials says they are confident the aging Long bridge can be repaired and reopened.
New Hampshire and Maine share responsibility for the bridge, but whether or not the companies involved with the tanker will have to foot the bill for the repairs remains to be seen.
N.H. DOT spokesman Bill Boynton said ultimately they expect to recover the costs of the repair work from the company responsible for the damage to the bridge.
The investigation into what caused the tanker to come loose from the pier is still being conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard.