Members of the Piscataqua Rangers Junior Fife & Drum Corps march across the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge during Friday’s celebration.

KITTERY — Politicians and the public celebrated a new bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine on Friday with a walk and a time capsule.

People walked across the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which replaced a 76-year-old bridge between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery along the Route 1 Bypass over the Piscataqua River.

Maine and New Hampshire officials donated items to a time capsule to be placed at the bridge at a later date. The time capsule will serve as a reflection of life in northern New England in 2018. It will be opened in 125 years.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage contributed a pin of the state, a coin and a state flag. New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan added a commemorative letter.

The $165 million bridge has been a source of controversy between Maine and Cianbro Corp., the bridge’s primary contractor. Each has blamed the other for seven months of delays caused by staff turnover, design changes and cost overruns. The state issued an order to Cianbro that the bridge, which had cleared its safety inspections, be opened by March 30.

The 15,000 vehicles that typically used the bridge daily were detoured onto Interstate 95 after the old bridge closed in August 2016.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.