bridge(s) over the Piscataqua

denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grinsNorth Andover, MAPosts: 11,795Super Moderators moderator
edited March 3, 2017 in Landscapes

Moderators: feel free to move this thread if you think it's misplaced. It sort of feels like a Journey, but since it's not a travel location for me I thought I'd try Landscapes.

There are 3 bridges across the Piscataqua River that link Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. The I-95 highway bridge is high above the water. The other two bridges are lift bridges. The Memorial Bridge, the structure closest to open water, has already been replaced; the old bridge was condemned in 2011 and the new bridge opened in 2013. The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, the middle bridge, carries both motor vehicles and trains. Construction of the new bridge was already underway when the lift section of the old bridge failed. A decision was made to permanently close the old bridge earlier than planned after the estimated cost of repair was known.

I was fascinated by the Memorial Bridge replacement, trying to follow the process in my blog and the photo gallery Rebuilding a bridge, Portsmouth - Kittery. It was easier to watch the construction on that bridge because there is a park with piers sitting next to the bridge.

Watching the build process of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge is harder since I don't have access to a solid spot to watch from the side, no boat! I've been trying to catch photos from both sides of the river.

Here's the location of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge:

I first visited the construction site after the failure of the lift section (and after the bridge operators managed to lift the section to allow ships to pass).

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Rust was evident along the railings. I don't want to think about the rust on the structure of the bridge!

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Since the bridge was closed and I wouldn't be dodging cars on a bridge that doesn't (didn't!) allow pedestrians, I walked past the closed sign to get a better view of the construction of the replacement bridge.

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The old "stuck in the up position" bridge, construction cranes, and components of the new under-construction bridge were visible.

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My next visit with a camera was in late January, hard to believe that much time had elapsed! The lift section of the old bridge was removed in October and the last section of the old bridge was removed on January 25th. There were still some over land (and stretch of water that isn't navigable river) remnants of the steel structure that were in the process of being removed.

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Sections of the new bridge are attached on either side of the support pillars. It is interesting to see sections getting closer together; apparently the last piece joining the bridge sections between pillars is poured in place.

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My next visit was last week. From the Portsmouth side, you can see that two of the towers that will support the lift section of the bridge have been capped.

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I stopped on the Kittery side of the bridge construction on last Saturday's very foggy morning.

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A little later on the same day as the fog started lifting I was again on the Portsmouth side of the bridge construction.

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If you're as fascinated by this construction project and would like to see some construction photos from closed-to-the-public areas, a local photographer is documenting the build process. You can see his work at

More photos can be viewed in the gallery with occasional blog entries at Mildred Long Bridge.


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