And then you get hit by a tanker

bridge

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge is my neighborhood bridge. Most people call it just “the Sarah Long Bridge” or “the middle bridge,” but for me it’s how I get from Portsmouth to Kittery at least once a week.

It’s been nothing but drama as long as I can remember for that rusted out span. The lift mechanism  gets stuck or the guard rails are too rusty, causing the bridge to close for a few days, maybe a week. Whenever I hear there’s a problem with the bridge and to expect a closure, I think, “Well, this is it. It’s going to be closed for good now.” But she somehow seems to hang on.

Then she gets hit by a tanker. The bridge is now expected to remain closed for weeks.

The Portsmouth Herald did a great job covering this, dispatching multiple reporters. Here’s witness reaction and my favorite story on the traffic impact of closing the bridge. It also addresses the frequent question I get from people who do not live here: why three bridges? Well we’re down to two still standing and only one open, so perhaps insurance? Or that the next closest way to cross into Maine from New Hampshire is a 20 minute drive to the north? Or that you need more than one way to get across the river because of stuff like this?

It’s uncertain when the bridge will reopen, but what I can say for sure is that it will be a while before I get to cross your way again, old girl.

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