Portsmouth bridge to remain closed for weeks after tanker crash


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A major bridge in Portsmouth, N.H., is estimated to remain closed for weeks after an oil tanker crashed into the structure.

Inspectors were assessing the damage to the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Tuesday morning.

"We're estimating a two- to four-week bridge closure at this point in order to make emergency repairs to the Long Bridge," said NHDOT Public Information Officer Bill Boynton. "We are in the process of securing a private contractor to do the repairs. No cost estimate yet. Do not anticipate major congestion issues with the I-95 bridge, which can handle a lot of traffic. It will be an inconvenience and will no doubt affect local traffic patterns."

SKYFOX was over the scene Monday when a 473-foot Harbour Feature slammed into the bridge that connects Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine. Coast Guard officials said the tanker was tied to a nearby pier, but broke loose and was pushed into the bridge by the current.
Traffic was re-routed while crews worked to move the tanker.

Officials said there were no injuries during the incident and no oil spilled from the tanker.