Group presses Maine, NH to replace, not rehab, Kittery-Portsmouth bridge

Posted March 04, 2011, at 10:30 a.m.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A committee of Piscataqua River terminal operators, tugboat pilots and port officials intends to press Maine and New Hampshire officials to do more than simply rehabilitate the Sara Mildred Long Bridge.

Transportation commissioners from both states signed an agreement this week that calls for replacing the Memorial Bridge and rehabbing the Long Bridge between Portsmouth, N.H., with Kittery, Maine.

Geno Marconi, director of ports and harbors for the Port of New Hampshire, says a Long Bridge rehab would retain existing limitations. He says the center span is too narrow for many ships that need to get farther up river.

Marconi tells the Portsmouth Herald that the Piscataqua River Economic Development Committee believes Long Bridge needs to be either replaced altogether or modified to widen the span.