Bridge Debris Nearly Hits New Hampshire Vessel
July 29, 2010
July 29, 2010: Seacoast Online has reported that a tour-boat out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was nearly hit by a piece of the Rte. 1 Memorial Bridge, which spans the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.
Skipper Bob Hassold claims that a chunk of rusted metal approximately 4 feet in diameter fell off the 87-year-old span as his tugboat, the Tug Alley Too, was approaching the bridge. Investigators are currently searching for the piece of metal in question.
The Memorial Bridge is a lift bridge that has been “red-listed” as being in need of immediate repairs, and a campaign has been launched to raise the necessary funds, which could run in the neighborhood of $300 million. It is estimated that the bridge will only be usable for another 3 years in its current state. A closure could mean traffic problems, lower property values and a drop in business for local restaurants and shops on both sides of the river. For boaters, it would likely mean that the bridge would be left in a raised position. Repair of the bridge would probably involve intermittent closure of the main channel. Check in with New England Boating for updates.