NH, Maine combine forces to appeal for money to replace Sarah Mildred Long Bridge
In a letter sent Friday, U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, Angus King, I-Maine and Representatives Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Mike Michaud, D-Maine, invited newly confirmed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to visit the bridge and see firsthand the work that needs to be done.
At that time, the Memorial Bridge was the state's number one red-listed bridge due to deficiencies and poor conditions. With the new bridge nearly complete, the 1940s- era Sarah Mildred Long Bridge has taken over the top spot.
In addition to vehicular traffic, the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge also carries a rail line used by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to transport nuclear waste off the yard.
"This vital infrastructure, constructed over 70 years ago, has reached the end of its service life and is in need of a full replacement," the letter reads. "The Federal Highway Administration has classified the bridge as structurally deficient, and noted its truss spans are fracture critical, meaning that the failure of steel tension members could result in collapse. Full replacement of the Bridge is vital to this coastal corridor, as well as to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Port of New Hampshire."
A day-long design workshop is being held at the Kittery Community Center on July 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to discuss various design aspects of the new bridge.