Rehabilitation of the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95 on the Maine-New Hampshire border is scheduled to start in June.
It is one of two construction projects less than 9 miles apart on Interstate 95 that will cause traffic problems this summer. The other project on I-95 is the construction of the Maine Turnpike Authority’s $39 million toll facility in York, which is 9 miles north of the bridge. Work on the toll facility started last fall and is supposed to be done by summer 2021.
The Piscataqua River Bridge project is expected to be done in May 2022.
The three-year $52.6 million Piscataqua River Bridge rehabilitation project includes:
- Resurfacing of all six lanes.
- Replacement of traffic.
- Upgrades to other structural and electrical elements.
MaineDOT is sharing the cost with the New Hampshire DOT and the Maine Turnpike Authority. The bridge has been in service since 1972.
Maine Department of Transportation expects to maintain three lanes in each direction during daylight hours between Memorial Day and Columbus Day and on major national holidays. Lanes will be closed only overnight between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Travel lanes will be narrower than normal.
The Piscataqua River Bridge also is being prepared for a system that is expected to allow existing bridge breakdown lanes to be converted into a fourth travel lane in both directions to ease traffic flow during peak travel times. The Maine DOT and the Maine Turnpike Authority plan to start that effort once the resurfacing and improvements are complete.
For project updates, a website – BuildingaBetterGateway.com – and a new Twitter account – Maine Ahead – have been created.
Maine DOT estimates 74,000 vehicles cross the Piscataqua River Bridge daily. In summer tourist season, however, volume grows to 130,000 vehicles per day. State officials estimate 87% of Maine’s freight traffic drive across the bridge.
The Piscataqua River Bridge project is the third project included in the three bridge agreement agreed to by Maine and New Hampshire.
The Memorial Bridge reopened in 2013. It links the communities of Portsmouth and Kittery.
The Sarah Long Bridge reopened to traffic in 2017 and was finished in 2018. Construction had started in 2013. Maine DOT calls it a critical back-up route in case of disruption on the Interstate 95 Bridge.
Copyright © OOIDA