PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — An aging bridge that connects New Hampshire and Maine is getting $25 million in federal grants for its replacement.

The 70-year-old Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connects Kittery, Maine with Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is rated structurally deficient.

Work on the replacement bridge is expected to start in 2015, with completion in 2017. The project is estimated to cost $160 million.

New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte said in a joint statement that the replacement bridge will help support transit and economic activity in New Hampshire and Maine, as well as national security needs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which relies on the bridge’s rail component.

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