Memorial Bridge "Float Out" Begins

Feb 8, 2012

Removal of the historic Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine is finally underway. 

Shortly after noon-time Wednesday, the center lift-span was lowered into position to be placed on a barge.

(Memorial Bridge photos by Erik Swenson, view gallery on flickr.)

Mike Pillsbury, Assistant Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, says that the structure will then be carefully “floated out.” down the Piscataqua River.


“Secure it, move it upriver a little, then further secure it, in order to have it it seaworthy so that they can ship it perhaps tomorrow," Pillsbury said. "A lot depends on how the tides are running,” he said.


Marine traffic underneath the bridge has been banned, but Pillsbury says that it should be allowed again by this evening. The span will be moved to a Boston recycling facility, where it will be scrapped. Crews will repeat the process for the other bridge sections, and a new span constructed at a cost of $81 million dollars.