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Sarah Mildred Long Bridge May Reopen by This Weekend

NH Department of Transportation officials say the damage to the middle lift span tracks has been assessed and repair work will begin on Thursday morning.

UPDATED, 7:30 p.m.: The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge may reopen by Friday or Saturday after New Hampshire Department of Transportation crews make the necessary repairs.

NH DOT spokesman Bill Boynton wrote in an e-mail on Wednesday night that NH DOT maintenance crews assessed the damage to the middle lift span's tracks and have come up with a plan. 

"Equipment is being mobilized tonight, and work will begin early Thursday morning. It’s hoped that the repairs can be completed and the bridge restored to full operation in one to two days," Boynton wrote.

UPDATED, 5 p.m.: New Hampshire Department of Transportation officials cannot say when the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge will be open again as they continue to repair the middle lift span.

Bill Boynton, a NH DOT spokesman, wrote an e-mail on late Wednesday afternoon saying that NH DOT Commissioner Chris Clement is at the bridge with other NH DOT crew members doing an assessment of the damage.

"There is some damage associated with the tracks that the lift span moves in, something we have not had to deal with in recent memory. The last thing I was told it that it is going to be a while... how long is uncertain," Boynton wrote.

Portsmouth Police had the Portsmouth side of the bridge blocked off with orange barrels and traffic north bound traffic was being diverted to Market Street. Kittery, Maine, Police were doing the same thing from south bound bridge traffic.

Earlier story: The bitterly cold weather has caused the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge to shut down Thursday afternoon after the middle lift span malfunctioned and NH Department of Transportation officials are not sure when it will be fixed.

Bill Boynton, the NH Department of Transportation public information officer, wrote in an e-mail the middle lift span was reportedly stuck at about 1:20 p.m. about one foot above the road level. Boynton wrote that NH DOT crews are working on the problem, but he could not say how long it will take to fix the lift span.

Meanwhile, temperatures continue to struggle in the single digits just above 0 degrees. This is just one of several problems the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge has experienced over the past year.

The for an electrical problem and when it experienced another electrical problem during a winter storm.

The following a lightening strike.

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