Maine-NH bridge open again

Posted Dec. 18, 2010, at 1:16 p.m.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The Memorial Bridge between New Hampshire and Maine is open again — and much earlier than expected.

The bridge that carries U.S. Route 1 traffic over the Piscataqua River, which separates the two states, was closed Dec. 9 after an inspection revealed deterioration of a pair of metal gusset plates, which hold bridge beams together.

On Tuesday, New Hampshire officials said the bridge, which connects Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, would reopen within three weeks after repairs.

But on Saturday, state Transportation Commissioner George Campbell says a combination of dedicated work crews and dry weather allowed the repairs to progress much more quickly than anticipated. The 87-year-old bridge reopened at about 11:40 a.m.