The Maine Department of Transportation has selected Figg Engineering of Harrisburg, Pa., to design the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which will carry the U.S. Route 1 bypass over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery.
According to Seacoast Online, Figg was selected as the most qualified of four firms submitting proposals and is expected to sign a contract for doing the work within a few weeks. The project cost could top $172 million and the news service quoted an MDOT deputy commissioner saying a phased process will be used in bidding to keep costs down. The current Long Bridge, built in 1940, is expected to reach the end of its working life around 2015. The new bridge will have two fixed spans and a center lift span.
MDOT plans to share the cost of building the new bridge with New Hampshire, the Maine Turnpike Authority and the U.S. Navy.
Last December a national transportation research group included the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replacement project among the 50 projects in Maine needed to enhance economic development. Others included an east-west highway and a cargo port on Sears Island.