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 completion date of May 2022.

Latest Updates

Piscataqua River Bridge

Bridge Update – 10/19/20

Fall is officially here, and with reduced traffic on the Maine Turnpike and the Piscataqua River Bridge, our team can spend more time getting needed repairs accomplished. This means that you might see more lane closures during specific times – always with an eye toward keeping traffic moving as smoothly as possible while also keeping our workers safe. Beginning Monday, October 19th, at 6:00 a.m., the right, northbound travel lane will be closed over the Piscataqua River Bridge to accommodate shoulder widening and paving. This closure is expected to last approximately two to three weeks. Also, please remember to use additional caution at  Exit 7 in New Hampshire as traffic merges onto the bridge.

Bridge Update – 7/13/20

All six lanes will be open on the Piscataqua River Bridge for at least the next two weeks. Remember: if you’re visiting Maine, please make sure to go to www.maine.gov/covid19/ for details on testing and self-quarantine guidelines for out-of-state visitors.

Bridge Update – 2/21/20

Beginning on Monday, February 24th, the “Maine Ahead” project will begin a new phase of safety improvement work on the Piscataqua River Bridge. Crews will be replacing bridge joints that date back to the original construction of the bridge a half-century ago.

This phase of joint replacement work will require the right travel lane to be closed on the southbound side of the bridge. This closure will restrict the southbound side of the bridge to two lanes. It will not be reopened to three lanes until this phase of the joint replacement work is complete.

In a few weeks, we will begin joint replacement work on the northbound side of the bridge as well. This work will require a similar right travel lane closure on the northbound side. We need to close these lanes to be able to work on the bridge joints. These traffic restrictions are also necessary for the safety of our crews and the traveling public.

We hope to be able to reopen these travel lanes as soon as this phase of the bridge joint replacements is complete, but these traffic restrictions could last through mid-May. We are committed to keeping three lanes of travel open on both sides of the bridge during peak travel periods (between mid-May and the day after Labor Day).

We continue to appreciate the patience and understanding of the members of the traveling public as we work on these important safety improvements.


Bridge Update – 10/21/19

The Southbound right lane on the Piscataqua River Bridge will be closed from 6am on Monday, October 21st through 2pm on Friday, October 25th. A Northbound lane will also be closed from the NH side of the bridge through mile marker 2, as well as the exit 7 entrance ramp, from 9pm through 7am each night through 10/25.

Additionally, we will be closing the Exit 1 off-ramp in Maine beginning on Thursday, October 24th. This ramp will remain closed for the duration of the project which is projected to be substantially complete in October of 2021.

Thank you for your patience!

Bridge Update – 10/15/19

LANE CLOSURE: A southbound lane on the Piscataqua River Bridge will be closed from 6am on Wednesday, October 16th through 2pm on Friday, October 18th. The Exit 7 entrance ramp to I-95 Northbound will also be closed on Wednesday Night (10/16) to layout pavement markings & barrier.

From 9pm through 7am, an I-95 northbound lane will also be closed from the NH side of the bridge through mile marker 2. These closures will occur on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights (October 15th-18th) to install traffic signs and pavement markings. Thank you for your patience!

Bridge Project Update 8/2/2019

TRAFFIC UPDATE: During the week of August 4th,  crews will be closing one lane on I-95 from Mile 2 southbound across the Piscataqua River Bridge. The lane closure will be AT NIGHT ONLY (from 7 pm – 5 am) Monday through Thursday. Hydro demolition begins this week, which unfortunately is a noisy process. This will continue for two weeks.  After those two weeks, only regular construction noise is anticipated.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

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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