A study released this week says closure of the Memorial Bridge between Maine and New Hampshire could hurt sales for businesses on both sides of the border.
The report from the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service found that businesses in Kittery and Portsmouth could lose an average of 8%-17% in customer sales if the Memorial Bridge is closed temporarily or permanently, according to SeacoastOnline. Kittery would likely be harder hit, since the downtown area depends more heavily on traffic. Retailers and restaurants are expected to be most affected, while professional services, such as doctors and lawyers, will not be affected much. Destination businesses like Kittery Trading Post would also be spared. The report polled 1,500 customers and surveyed businesses in the two cities.
Officials in both states are currently working to devise a plan to replace the aging bridge, as well as the Sarah Long Memorial Bridge, but so far no option has been chosen. But replacing or renovating the Memorial Bridge would likely mean it would be closed to traffic for a minimum of two years, while an option to close it to vehicles altogether has been considered.
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