Friday, February 10, 2012

“Float Out” Planned for Memorial Bridge


The first major event associated with the demolition of the Memorial Bridge that crosses the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, was schedules to take place during the daytime hours of Wednesday, February 8, with the possibility of continuing into the morning hours of Thursday, February 9.

Weather permitting and barge setup, the removal and “float out” of the lift span of the nearly 90-year old lift bridge is expected to take place between February 8 and 9. The operation—as high tide approaches—will involve the use of a barge upon which the estimated two million pound truss lift span will rest after it is disconnected from cables that support it. The barge “Cape Cod” will likely be put into place between 8am and 1pm on February 8, while the actual float-out will likely take place in the following 16-hours. The barge will then be floated out of the channel, secured near the New Hampshire shoreline, and then floated down the Piscataqua River.

The public is welcome to observe the lift span removal and “float out” operations from safe nearby locations. While the work zone itself is not open to the public, good views can be obtained from Prescott Park, Badger Island, Four Tree Island and Peirce Island. Interested persons are asked to be especially careful when driving near the bridge location as an increased number of pedestrians are expected.

Archer Western Contractors, of Canton, Massachusetts, is the general contractor for the $81.4 million project, which has a completion date of July 2013 to open the new bridge to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.