New Hampshire/Maine U.S. Route 1 Bridge Closed Permanently

New Hampshire/Maine U.S. Route 1 Bridge Closed Permanently

The U.S. Route 1 Bridge connecting Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine, has been permanently closed by transportation officials after a mechanical failure left the bridge stuck in the up position.

The Route 1 Bridge (also known as the Sarah Long Bridge) was closed after gear failure caused the structure to seize. Engineers were able to force the bridge into the up position to accommodate river traffic.

NHDOT and MaineDOT both determined that the bridge was not safe for motor vehicle traffic without a series of complicated repairs with a $1 million price tag, so they elected to shut down the bridge for good.

The bridge was scheduled to shut down on November 1 anyway so that crews could begin work on constructing a new Sarah Long Bridge. This early shutdown will not impact the projected September 2017 opening of that new bridge.

Until the new bridge opens next year, transportation officials recommend using Interstate 95 “High Level” Bridge and the Memorial Bridge.

Before the 76 year old bridge closed, about 14,000 vehicles crossed it each day.

Sources:
WGME
Maine Public Broadcasting
Seacoast Online
WMUR