The Bridge Connecting New Hampshire to Maine Is Stuck in a Raised Position
You may never cross over that hulking green bridge on your way to Vacationland again.
The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Kittery, Maine, via the Route 1 Bypass, has been stuck in the raised position since early Monday morning. It’s possible the 76-year-old bridge will stay stuck like that—meaning it might not ever reopen to traffic.
The problems started on Sunday morning, when the bridge first became stuck in the downward position. This allowed vehicles to pass over the bridge, but prohibited large boats from continuing down the Piscataqua River. Since boat traffic is given priority by federal law, the bridge was finally lifted around 1 a.m. on Monday for a passing boat. That’s when the bridge became stuck again, reportedly due to a wheel malfunction.
It turns out officials were aware of the bridge’s problems before it became stuck, so consider your worst fears about bridges confirmed. According to the Boston Globe, officials have said they don’t know the extent of the problem yet. Either way, the green bridge was scheduled to shut down in November while a new and improved bridge is built close by.
“Ultimately it has to be decided whether it is worth the investment to keep it open 10 more weeks, especially if it takes three or four weeks just to fix it,” New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton told Seacoastonline.com.
The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge sees 14,000 vehicles a day. It’s one of three bridges connecting the Granite State to Maine, so state-hopping drivers aren’t completely out of luck. Boynton told Boston.com that things could be worse—the bridge could be closed to both cars and boats. Thankfully, boats can still exit the Piscataqua to the Atlantic Ocean.
The new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge is slated to open in September 2017.