Maine and New Hampshire transportation officials intend to award a contract to a team of two companies to design and build the new Memorial Bridge between Kittery and Portsmouth, N.H.

The $81.4 million contract is expected to go to Archer Western Contractors, of Chicago and Canton, Mass., and HNTB Corp. of Westbrook, the designer of the bridge.

Maine and New Hampshire will split the cost of replacing the bridge that spans the Piscataqua River and has long been a vital link between the two states.

The new bridge is expected to open in July of 2013.

For now, drivers can use two other bridges – the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge and the I-95 bridge.