Senator Hill Comments on the Closing of the Memorial Bridge

Posted: July 29, 2011 | News Items, Senator Hill, Transportation

Stresses the importance of engaging greater public awareness about the closure

Kittery – Following the Maine Department of Transportation’s joint decision with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to shut down the Memorial Bridge because of safety concerns, Senator Dawn Hill is urging state officials to work closely with Maine’s local residents and businesses.

Senator Hill has reached out to MDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt to request a public forum to explain the process moving forward and to see how the state may be able to help mitigate the impact of the bridge closure.

“I am very concerned about the impact this closure will have on the residents, businesses, and visitors who rely on the bridge,” said Senator Hill. “I realize that safety is first and foremost, but I just want to make sure that the State of Maine is taking all the necessary steps to assist the community during this period.”

The Town of Kittery has already expressed concerns about signage for commuters and local businesses are worrisome of how this will affect them.

Senator Hill added, “It is important that the state works closely with those who will endure this burden the most. We need to do what we can to help the residents and business community of Kittery and the other towns of southern Maine directly impacted by the closure.”

Earlier this year, Senator Hill was part of a county, state and federal effort to secure Federal TIGER funds as well as funding for the state’s share of replacing the Memorial Bridge. However, completion of the project is not expected until 2014. Senator Hill suggested the commitment and availability of the funds may help expedite the design and construction plans and time tables for the replacement of the bridge.

A public meeting date has not been scheduled, but will be publicized once determined. 

Senator Dawn Hill is the Ranking Democratic Senator of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. She represents Senate District 1, which includes the communities of Eliot, Kittery, Ogunquit, South Berwick, and York.