New Hampshire’s Memorial Bridge now can be replaced thanks to a signed agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. The bridge, New Hampshire’s top bridge replacement priority, currently is closed to truck traffic. Trucks moving goods from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are forced to detour.
“A new Memorial Bridge will create jobs and help move goods more efficiently from the shipyard to the rest of the country,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Our investment in this critical project will pay dividends to Maine and New Hampshire and provide an economic boost to the entire region.”
The joint Maine and New Hampshire project, located in Portsmouth, N.H. and Kittery, Maine, received $20 million from the Department’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program that will help fully replace the bridge. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $90 million. Not only will trucks be able to move more efficiently, the new bridge also will accommodate increased automobile traffic as well as more than 1,000 bicyclists and pedestrians every day.
“This bridge replacement will put people to work and restore a key transportation link in the area,” says Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “The Memorial Bridge is a great example of how we can rebuild our economy by rebuilding America.”
The grant was awarded as part of DOT’s TIGER II program in which 70 projects in 40 states were awarded $600 million in grants for projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area. The projects chosen demonstrate an ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities, increase livability and create or preserve jobs quickly.