Piscataqua River to be closed to all marine traffic for three days in the vicinity of Memorial Bridge

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — The Piscataqua River, in the vicinity of the Memorial (US-1) Bridge in Portsmouth, N.H., will be closed to all marine traffic from 7 a.m. on January 30, 2012 to approximately 7 a.m. on February 2, 2012. The river closure is necessary to provide for the safety of all waterway users and construction workers during bridge demolition operations.

The Coast Guard continues to work closely with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) to help facilitate their plan to replace the Memorial Bridge and to ensure the safety of all waterway users. The Coast Guard has published a Temporary Interim Rule in the Federal Register that establishes a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) to encompass a 300-yard radius over all navigable waters on the Piscataqua River, surface to bottom, in the vicinity of the Memorial Bridge construction zone in between Portsmouth, NH and Badgers Island in Kittery, ME. The RNA is in effect from January 30, 2012 to December 31, 2013. To minimize unexpected or uncontrolled movement of water during hazardous construction operations, the RNA will limit vessel speed and wake for all vessels operating in the vicinity of the bridge construction zone, as well as provide a means to suspend all vessel traffic for emergent situations that pose an imminent threat to waterway users in the area.

After the initial 72-hour closure on February 2, 2012, the navigable water will reopen to all vessel traffic. However, the RNA will remain in effect through December 31, 2013 to ensure safety during NHDOT’s bridge replacement project, which is expected to conclude by the end of 2013.

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