NH-Maine bridge closes; shuttle service begins

Posted Jan. 09, 2012, at 5:26 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 09, 2012, at 3:45 p.m.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine, has closed to pedestrian traffic, the final step before demolition begins.

The bridge was closed to motor vehicle traffic in July, but pedestrian and bicycle traffic continued through Sunday. With the bridge’s closing, hourly shuttle service began Monday to give pedestrians and cyclists a way to get back and forth between the two communities.

Memorial Bridge carried traffic along U.S. Route 1 over the Piscataqua River.

Demolition of the existing bridge begins later this month. The bridge was closed because of safety problems, and officials hope the replacement will open by July 2013. New Hampshire and Maine, which jointly own the Memorial Bridge, will share the cost of the replacement project.