Piscataqua River Bridge

Preserving a valuable existing infrastructure

The Piscataqua River Bridge project will accomplish two goals; it will provide the necessary improvements to keep it going for another 50 years and at the same time, prepare it for an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project, which will allow a fourth lane opening on the bridge during peak travel periods.

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), will manage the project. The bridge is expected to be under construction from spring 2019 until summer 2022, with a tentative competition date of May 2022.

Latest Updates

Piscataqua River Bridge

Bridge Project Update 6/13/19

The Exit 1 southbound on-ramp at Dennett Road in Kittery will be closed indefinitely beginning Tuesday, June 18th at 7 p.m. This is being done to accommodate the work on the Piscataqua River Bridge. In addition, the following lane closures will take place on the Piscataqua Bridge the week of June 17th. 

There will be lane closures Monday through Friday nights starting at 7 p.m. and going until 3:30 a.m. the following morning. The lane closures will be in the southbound lanes only. By 7 p.m., traffic may be restricted to two lanes and by 10 p.m., traffic could be restricted to one lane.

The contractor will be re-stripping the lanes from Exit 2 in Maine and across the bridge to the New Hampshire side. During these hours, the contractor will also be installing temporary concrete barriers to close the shoulder on the Maine approach to the bridge.

Bridge Project Update 6/17/19

We will begin setting up traffic control devices and adding temporary striping, with the assistance of the Maine and/or New Hampshire State Police

Bridge Project Update 6/10/19

We will begin installing signs and setting up message boards with the assistance of the Maine and/or the New Hampshire State Police

Bridge Project Update 5/27/19

Working on access to the site on the Kittery side

Bridge Project Update 5/15/2019

Work is expected to begin in June. Check back for more details soon!

Frequently Asked Questions

What guarantees are in place that these projects will be completed on time?

In the contract for the bridge, financial incentives have been put in place for early completion as well as penalty fees should work be required beyond the set substantially complete date of May 20, 2022. 

How is this project funded?

The project is funded by MaineDOT, New Hampshire DOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Maine Turnpike Authority.

How long is the bridge expected to be under construction?

The bridge will be under construction from spring 2019 until spring 2022, with a tentative completion date of May 2022.

What is the cost of this project?

The construction contract value is $53 million. The estimated total cost for the bridge is $61.8 million. That amount includes all engineering, state police coverage, public communications, and contingency.

Who is the contractor?

The contractor for the Piscataqua River Bridge project is SPS New England based in Salisbury, MA. The contractor was selected in February 2019, following a competitive bid process.

Why repair the bridge now? Is it safe?

Yes, the Piscataqua River Bridge is safe; however, it is almost 50 years old. This is one of Maine’s most important bridges and the critical artery connecting Maine and New Hampshire. Every day, 74,000 vehicles cross the southbound and northbound lanes of the bridge, and in the summer that daily traffic can climb to 130,000 cars and trucks. Because of its age and the high volume of daily traffic the bridge receives, it is simply time to make repairs and improvements. When the 4,500 feet-long bridge was constructed in 1972, its engineers envisioned a 100-year lifespan. What we do today will simply preserve and extend the life of this extremely valuable structure.

How will the project be phased?

  • Phase 1:  From spring 2019 to fall 2020, work will be done on the outside edges of the bridge.
  • Phase 2:  From fall 2020 until spring 2022, work will move to the inside of the bridge and onto the travel lanes. Much of the paving will be done at night but all other work will occur during daytime hours.

What is happening?

Improvements are being made to the bridge. An overview of the work to be done includes:

  • Replacing the bridge surface.
  • Repairing concrete on the deck beneath the bridge surface.
  • Replacing joints, drains, exterior bridge rails, concrete overhang of the deck, and the median barrier.
  • Patching concrete on bridge piers.
  • Upgrading the electrical system with 41 new street lights and new webcams.
  • Highway work north of the bridge on the Maine Turnpike, including mill and fill, reconstructing shoulders, and replacing median barriers.

Watch the progress!

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