January 4

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Memorial Bridge runs into problems from cold weather

The new Memorial Bridge connecting Maine and New Hampshire has run into some problems because of this week’s extreme cold.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said the bridge was closed for about an hour Thursday night as the bridge lift was being lowered.

He told the Portsmouth Herald that there have been problems with span locks for the gates but a new gate system is expected to arrive next week. He said troubleshooting was done Friday.

Just like a car, he said, the bridge lift can be slow to move in the extreme cold if it’s not warmed up.

The bridge opened in August, replacing a bridge that opened in 1923. It connects Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine.

HEBRON

Elementary school closed following heating oil spill

An elementary school in Hebron remains closed as state environmental officials test for possible hazards following a heating oil spill this week.

School officials said Hebron Station School remained closed Friday and a short-term contingency plan has been worked out to send students elsewhere Monday if needed. The school has about 140 students.

The spill occurred when the gauge on the school’s oil tank malfunctioned, showing the tank was empty when it was not. When the delivery driver tried to fill it, about 1,800 gallons of oil spilled.

Officials with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection told WLBZ-TV that they are awaiting results from air and water tests to make sure they are not contaminated and the school is safe for children.

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