The Maine Department of Transportation expects the long-delayed Sarah Mildred Long bridge to open March 30, a week later than a deadline imposed earlier this month.

The project, which will connect Kittery and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, via Route 1, has been delayed for months. On March 9, Maine transportation officials directed contractor Cianbro Corp. to have the bridge ready to open by March 23, but then gave the company another week to comply because of inclement weather.

The Maine Department of Transportation website now says the bridge is expected to open March 30. Any remaining work can be finished once it’s open to traffic, it said.

“The remaining work items, after March 30th, can be completed with traffic control measures including occasional lane closures and some full closures during overnight hours,” said the DOT post. “We will continue to update the public with specific times as March 30th approaches.”

The $164.8 million lift-span bridge across the Piscataqua River was scheduled to open Sept. 1, 2017, but that date has been pushed back repeatedly. In February, Cianbro said it would not be able to open the bridge to traffic until May 10 while it finished construction.

But Maine’s chief engineer, Joyce Taylor sent a letter to Cianbro CEO Andi Vigue that directed the contractor to open the bridge by March 23. The state says the bridge has passed its safety inspections and personnel have been trained to operate the lift span.


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