Memorial Bridge News

Bridge is not open to pedestrians or bicyclists

Please help us spread the word – the Memorial Bridge is not open to pedestrians or bicyclists.   The bridge and surrounding area is a very active construction site.

Archer Western Contractors is reporting that some bicyclists and pedestrians believe that the Memorial Bridge is now open and are entering the construction site trying to pass through.     These people are being escorted out of the area by the bridge workers.

The bridge will  not be open to anyone until mid to late July.   Please help us spread the word.

15 Responses

  1. John-Michael Albert says:

    I think pedestrians/bicyclists are guilty of a tiny logical fallacy. The bridge was open to ped/bic traffic long after it was closed to cars and trucks. They are assuming that it is probably the same, but in reverse–open to ped/bic traffic long before it will be open to cars and trucks. I can see the problem, though. Still a construction site. All sorts of liability insurance risks. I’m glad to know, though, that there are people as eager to use the bridge as I am. The shuttle has been nice and all, but…

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      John-Michael – you make an excellent point! And, I think you are correct. Thanks for sharing this.

      • Miles says:

        Using the same logic, the bridge would not be open, yet. The old one closed to pedestrians WAY more than a week before the first float-out. It hasn’t even been a week since the last float-in!

  2. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone could think the bridge is open when the approach to the bridge is behind a chain link fence that is plastered with signs. Amazing!

    I’ve reposted your message on my blog (with attribution to your post) at – maybe that will reach some additional people.

  3. Capt. Russ Camacho says:

    Will the river channel be open tomorrow to maritime traffic as scheduled? I am planning to deliver a boat from Great Bay via Portsmouth Harbor on Sunday.
    Thanks! Capt. Camacho

  4. A dy says:

    Heard there is a problem with the counterweights

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Sky Guy – The counterweights are made to accommodate final weight adjustments. A bit more weight was added to them this past week. All is good.

  5. William Richards says:

    What do the chains do {safety chains?}. They obviously don’t pull the weights up and they’re lower by gravity, so …. thanks

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Good Morning William: Great question – here’s the answer. The bridge operates on the simple principle of balance. So, these are “counterweight balancing chains” used to balance out the weight of the 64 cables that lift the bridge center span. The chains attach to the concrete counterweights which area used to help raise and lower the center span on the bridge. The center span is connected to the concrete counterweights, one on each end, via 64 cables which are draped over 4 very large sheave (pronounced shiv) wheels (pulleys at the top of the towers).

      The cables themselves weigh a lot. Just as the counterweights counterbalance the center lift span, something needs to counterbalance the 64 cables. So, as the bridge raises and the counterweights descend, an increasing amount of the chain length (and chain weight) hangs from the steel towers rather than from the counterweights. So as the length and weight of cable on the bridge side of the sheave wheels decreases, the length and weight of chain supported by the counterweight also decreases, maintaining the balance that is so critical to proper operation.

      I hope this is helpful. Anything else, let us know. And, these chains are required by Code too.

      • Pete G says:

        So these chains behave much the same way as the cable attached to the underside of an elevator car? Pretty clever solution for elevators, never seen it used on a bridge before. Don’t these chains introduce noise and maintenance (corrosion and wear) issues for this bridge?

        • Memorial Bridge PR says:

          Hi Pete – Yes, very clever! And, the chains will not induce noise and/or maintenance issues. Thanks for your interest.

  6. Marilyn says:

    May I ask when is the ribbon cutting suppose to take place? Is there a date yet? I do not live in the area but would like to be there for this.

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Marilyn! We don’t know yet. There’s still a lot of work, testing and training of the new operators that needs to be done. We will all have about 10 days notice from Archer Western and DOT. We are hopeful for a July opening. Please check back. Once we know, it will be posted here and out on the airwaves. Thanks for your interest and we do hope you can attend!

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