Memorial Bridge News

River Closure – June 10 to June 15 for final float-in

The center lift span of the new Memorial Bridge will be put into place between June 10 and June 15.

In order for the installation to occur safely, the US Coast Guard (USCG) will be closing the Piscataqua River in the vicinity (300 yard radius) of the bridge to all marine traffic for this 5 day period.

The river closure within the 300 yard radius will begin at 9:00am on June 10, 2013 to approximately 9:00am on June 15, 2013.  This river closure is necessary to provide for the safety of all waterway users and the construction workers during these bridge construction operations.

The USCG will enforce a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) that encompasses all navigable waters on the Piscataqua River, surface to bottom, in the vicinity of the Memorial Bridge construction zone.  The RNA is effective within a 300 yard radius (see map below).

Heavy-lift operations are sensitive to water movement and a wake from passing vessels could pose significant risk of  injury or death to construction works.   In order to minimize such unexpected or uncontrolled movement of water, the RNA will prohibit vessels from operating in the vicinity of the bridge construction zone for this 5-day period.

If you are a boat owner and your boat is located within the 300 yard radius of the RNA, you may or may not be able to move your boat in and out of your dock during the 5-day closure period.  You must obtain  pre-approval from the USCG prior to 8:00am on June 10 for any boat movement.  Also, you may or may not obtain approval to have passage under the bridge.   These decisions are regulated by the USCG.

The USCG contact for these matters:  Lieutenant Megan L. Drewniak at the USCG Sector Northern New England.  Phone: 1-207-741-5421 Email:

Any additional inform received from the USCG will be posted on this web site.    Please refer to these official documents for more information:

US Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Bulletin

US Coast Guard Regulated Navigational Area(NRA) – Aerial View

US Coast Guard Regulated Navigational Area (RNA) – Nautical Map

21 Responses

  1. Lane says:

    What are square tubes going up the tower on the Kittery side for and why is it only on one tower and not both?

    • Bob says:


      I believe the tubes you are referencing would be for the protection of the electrical cables that tie the fixed portion of the bridge to the moving lift span. One end of the electrical wires will attach at the mid-point of the chases on the non-moving part of the bridge. The electrical wires will hang down and attach to the lift span. As the lift span moves up and down the electrical wires will move inside the chase but will be protected from the weather. The North side was installed first which was then followed by the installation on the South side. Hope this helps answer your question.

  2. Is there a published schedule of activity for the days between June 10th and June 15th? I’m toying with taking a day off to watch. Thanks for any information you can provide.

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Denise: The best day to see some action will be the 10th, when the float-in occurs. The rest of the 5-day period will be work to connect the control rooms to the control house. Not much will be seen from land. Hope to see you there on the 10th and stay tuned for the estimated time of day that this final float-in will occur. Thanks for your interest!

  3. Sandy says:

    How is the final connection between the lift span and the counterweighs made? Do the counterweights get lifted to the top to make the connection? Are they at full weight now or are they filled after final connection to the lift span?

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Sandy – so nice to hear from you again! Here are the answers. The final connection between the lift span and the counterweight is actually done at the end of the cables by using eyelets and pins. Yes, the counterweight does get lifted to the top to make the connection. The counterweights are filled with concrete now, but they need to be fine-tuned once the actual load weight requirement is determined. I hope these answers are helpful. Let us know if you have other questions. Thanks for your interest.

  4. Chris says:

    I’ve been fascinated by the daily progress of the crews building the structure and have been watching via the internet from Bucks County Pa.. Is the same bridge construction crew going to be doing the Sarah Long Bridge rebuild??

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Chris: Glad to hear you like the work. The crews that will work on the construction of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge (SML) won’t be determined for a while. The new bridge to replace the SML is currently being designed and construction is a few years away. Keep watching Memorial Bridge – good things on the horizon! Thanks for your interest.

      • Chris says:

        And, will the cameras currently focused on the bridge remain on after construction is completed?

        • Memorial Bridge PR says:

          We don’t know. The two webcams are owned and operated by a private entity. You should contact them through their webcam site. Thanks.

  5. Seth says:

    What is the purpose of the huge chains suspended from the south tower counterweight? Are they temporary ballast for the middle span attachment process?

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Seth: These are “counterweight balancing chains” that are used to balance out the weight of the cables that lift the bridge platform. They attach to the concrete counterweights used to help raise and lower the platform on the lift bridge. These chains are required by actual written code (standards) for lift bridges. Keep the questions coming!

      • Seth says:

        Thank you! Will they be removed once the center span is in place and working?

        • Memorial Bridge PR says:

          These chains will be a permanent part of the new brige and essential to the operation of the lift span.

          • Seth says:

            Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. I wonder if they will sound like Jacob Marley’s ghost in ‘A Christmas Carol’ every time the raise and lower the bridge.

          • Memorial Bridge PR says:

            Oh no! The chains will be very quiet.

  6. Hello,
    Would it be possible to get phamplets and flyers about the bridge opening ? I’m in Florida and may not be able to come up there for the grand opening.

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Morning Linda: We don’t have anything produced yet and we’re still in the planning stages. Check back in a few weeks and we’ll have an update on what is planned.

  7. I would like to have some sort of souvenir of the new bridge.

    • Memorial Bridge PR says:

      Hi Linda: I’m not sure what will be available. Stay tuned for the opening plan and perhaps something will occur or be generated that will interest you.

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