Sarah Mildred Long Bridge

This photo of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine was taken days before the USS Manchester was commissioned in Portsmouth last May.

KITTERY, Maine – An opening reception is being held Wednesday for an art exhibit featuring the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.

The new $163 million bridge, which connects Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine, was opened to traffic last March. It replaced the original structure built in 1940 and renamed in 1987 to honor Sarah Mildred Long, a 50-year employee of the Maine-New Hampshire Interstate Bridge Authority.

The building of the new bridge fascinated many people on the Seacoast in recent years as work was done by Cianbro Corp., and the Maine Department of Transportation had live feeds of construction posted online for people to watch.

“Breaking and Making the Sarah Long Bridge” at the Kittery Community Center captures some of those moments through paintings and photographs by 17 local artists, including curator Bill Moore.

“People, you can tell, have really captured such beautiful images of the bridge during the construction, and people have worked for so long putting together those images,” said Kittery Community Center recreation supervisor Valerie Lachapelle.

The reception is being held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesda in the Morgan Gallery at the community center on Rogers Road in Kittery.

Starting at 7 p.m., there will be a lecture in the STAR Theatre by artists Richard Hopley and Eric Reuter. They plan to offer their perspectives on the demolition of the old Sarah Mildred Long Bridge and pay tribute to the new bridge.

The exhibit of the artwork is free and open to all. Due to limited seating, people interested in the lecture should pre-register by calling (207) 439-3800.