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NH DOT to unveil plans to replace New Castle-Rye span

NEW CASTLE — The state Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting Thursday, Jan. 30, to present two alternative ideas for replacing the historic New Castle-Rye bridge.

Doors will open at the New Castle Common recreation center, 301 Wentworth Road, at 6:30 p.m. for viewing of plans, and the formal presentation will begin at 7 p.m.

The New Castle-Rye Bridge, also known as the Wentworth Bridge, carries Route 1B over Little Harbor next to the Wentworth by the Sea Marina and Golf Course and connects the two communities.

The bridge is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office on the project is ongoing, according to a release from NH DOT.

The lift bridge was constructed between 1941 and 1942 as part of the defense of Portsmouth Harbor during World War II and replaced a former drawbridge. It was rehabbed in 1975, and additional repairs were made in 1978 and 2010. An in-depth bridge inspection in 2011 resulted in a weight limit of 15 tons being imposed; it remains in place today.

Two design alternatives will be presented at the meeting as part of the recommended replacement of the existing bridge.

More information about the project, including aerial maps and tentative plans, is available at

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