Memorial Bridge illumination project reaches its goal in Portsmouth
The $50,000 donation by Archer Western Contractors will allow the center span of the bridge to be lit with color-changing LED lights when it is lifted and lowered.
Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth will share ongoing maintenance costs for the lights after the first five years of operation at a cost estimated to be under $1,000 annually.
Illumination subcommittee member Tom Decker said he has always been fascinated by the Zakim Bridge in Boston and found that about half of the postcards sold in Fanueil Hall feature the iconic, modern bridge, often illuminated in blue at night.
He said it was also nice to see business, community and government work hand in hand to make the project happen. The city of Portsmouth agreed to set up a trust fund to manage the funds, which were collected through the Portsmouth Historical Society allowing for a tax-deductible donation.
The bridge is scheduled to open in July. The center span of the bridge will be floated in and placed between June 10 and June 15. During that time, the Piscataqua River Channel in that area will be closed to marine traffic.