The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Replacement - The Regional River Crossing
The SML Replacement Project is a joint venture between the Maine and New Hampshire Departments of Transportation, with MaineDOT serving as the lead. This project is part of a “Three Bridge Agreement” between Maine and New Hampshire to address their jointly owned bridges spanning the Piscataqua River. The other two bridges are the “high level” bridge that carries I-95, and the Memorial Bridge that links the communities of Portsmouth and Kittery, and offers vehicle, bike and pedestrian travel.
The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, built in 1940, provides a regional link between Maine and New Hampshire, and is the critical back-up route in case of disruption on the Interstate 95 Bridge. SML carries crucial commercial traffic along the US Route 1 Bypass including movement of people and goods to the Navy Shipyard in Kittery that employs 4,200 workers.
Maine and New Hampshire have agreed to replace Sarah Mildred Long Bridge instead of implementing the rehabilitation project outlined in the March 2011 Memorandum of Agreement between Maine and New Hampshire regarding the three Piscataqua River bridges. The DOTs will equally share the costs of replacing the SML Bridge which is now estimated to be $170 million.
The design process gets under way in 2013 and it is anticipated that construction will begin in the fall of 2014.
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