Piscataqua River Bridge Rehabilitation Project - What to Expect (Updated 06/16/20)

Maine Ahead Project Kittery

June 16, 2020 Update:

Northbound traffic will be reduced to two lanes across the Piscataqua River Bridge from 5:30 AM on Monday, June 15, 2020 through 4:00 PM on Thursday, June 18, 2020. Southbound traffic will be reduced to two lanes through Friday, June 19, 2020 at 4:00 PM. Additionally, workers will be re-striping the entire project on Thursday night, June 18, 2020.  Drivers can expect multiple lane closures throughout the night from 6: 30 PM on Thursday through 7:00 AM on Friday morning.

All three lanes will remain open in both directions during the weekend. 

Please continue to be attentive and drive carefully near all construction areas.

May 20, 2020 Update:

With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, the Piscataqua River Bridge project is planning to change the schedule of the ongoing safety work taking place on the bridge.

Beginning Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., all three lanes of travel will be open on each side of the bridge. These six lanes will remain open through the holiday weekend. Lane restrictions will not happen again before 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Heading into the following weekend, all three northbound lanes will reopen at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020, and all three southbound lanes will reopen at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020.

Lane restrictions may happen during the week, but all six travel lanes on the bridge will be open every weekend through June 16, 2020. After June 16th, lane restrictions will only happen overnight for the rest of the summer.

Please be attentive and drive carefully near all construction areas. Lanes are narrower at this time, and crews are working close to traffic. The patience and understanding of the members of the traveling public are appreciated as these important safety improvements continue. For the latest information, visit buildingabettergateway.com, and follow @MaineAheadNews on Facebook and Twitter.

May 6, 2020 Update:

In order to facilitate paving work on the Piscataqua River (I-95) Bridge, additional day time lane closures will be required this week.

The Northbound side of the bridge will be paved first, restricting Northbound traffic to one lane between 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6th and 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7th. Southbound paving will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7th and continue until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8th. Southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane during paving operations. The schedule for this work is weather-dependent.

Drivers should observe work-zone speed limits and be alert and careful while passing paving crews. The primary focus for this project is the safety of both crews and the traveling public.

February 24, 2020 Update:

Beginning on Monday, February 24th, the "Maine Ahead" project will begin a new phase of safety improvement work on the Piscataqua River Bridge. Crews will be replacing bridge joints that date back to the original construction of the bridge a half-century ago.

This phase of joint replacement work will require the right travel lane to be closed on the southbound side of the bridge. This closure will restrict the southbound side of the bridge to two lanes. It will not be reopened to three lanes until this phase of the joint replacement work is complete.

In a few weeks, the joint replacement work then begin on the northbound side of the bridge. This work will require a similar right travel lane closure on the northbound side.  These lanes must be closed in order to work on the bridge joints. These traffic restrictions are also necessary for the safety of the project crews and the traveling public.

The project team hopes to be able to reopen these travel lanes as soon as this phase of the bridge joint replacements is complete, but the traffic restrictions could last through mid-May. The project team is committed to keeping three lanes of travel open on both sides of the bridge during peak travel periods (between mid-May and the day after Labor Day).

February 13, 2020 Update:

All three lanes on the Piscataqua River Bridge will remain open in both directions throughout the holiday weekend (Saturday 2/15 - Monday 2/17).  

The Southbound right lane will be closed from 5:30 AM on Tuesday, February 18, through 3:00 PM on Friday, February 21.  The right Northbound lane will also be closed from the New Hampshire side of the bridge, through Mile Marker 2 from 5:30 AM on Tuesday, February 18 to 12:00 PM on Friday, February 21.

January 8, 2020 Update:

As we move through the winter months, please remember that lanes are narrow during construction.  In inclement weather situations, please allow plenty of room and use caution while driving so plow drivers can complete their snow operations in order to keep both the public and work crews safe.

For up-to-date lane closure information:

November 5, 2019 Update:

As the Piscataqua Rive Bridge Rehabilitation Project expands, lane and shoulder restrictions on the bridge approaches leave less room for traffic to safely use these on and off ramps.  While the following closures create inconveniences, the changes are necessary to ensure the safety of both the traveling public and project crews.

Closure Information:

  • Right Lane on I-95 Southbound (Mile 1), at 6:00 AM on 11/12/19, with the lane re-opening by 4:00 PM on 11/16/19.
  • Right lane on 1-95 Northbound (Mile 0), at 6:00 AM on 11/13/19 with the lane re-opening by 6:00 PM on 11/14/19.
  • Exit 7 - Northbound - Market Street in Portsmouth from 11/12/19 to 5/14/20
  • Exit 1 - Northbound - Kittery in Maine from 10/24/19 to 10/01/21

September 4, 2019 Update:

This week, crews will be closing one lane on I-95 from Mile 2 southbound across the Piscataqua River Bridge. The lane closure will remain in effect during the week from 8:00 PM on Tuesday 9/3 through 6:00 AM on Saturday 9/7. All lanes will remain open during the weekend.

Work has recently begun on the Piscataqua River Bridge connecting Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NH.  The I-95 bridge project work includes:

  • Resurfacing the bridge
  • Repairing concrete on the deck beneath the bridge surface
  • Replacing joints, drains, exterior bridge rails, concrete overhang of the deck, and the median barrier.
  • Patching concrete on bridge piers
  • Upgrading the electrical system with 41 new street lights and new webcams
  • Highway work north of the bridge on the Maine Turnpike, including mill and fill, reconstructing shoulders and replacing median barriers.

Additionally, the bridge is being primed for a possible intelligent transportation system that will allow the breakdown lanes to be used for travel when there are high traffic volumes.

Because this bridge is the most heavily traveled bridge in Maine, most of the project work is being completed during the overnight hours.  This schedule means that some residents living close to the bridge may hear construction sounds overnight.  While the noise is unwelcome, MaineDOT and the project team have stated that it is unavoidable and will continue intermittently throughout the project.

To keep up to date on the bridge project:

  • Visit the "Maine Ahead" website here, to sign up for traffic alerts from MyTrips New England 511.
  • Visit "Maine Ahead News" on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Keep an eye out for electronic message boards.

For more on what to expect during this on-going project, please see below:

Piscataqua River Bridge Project InfoPiscataqua River Bridge Project 2