When we went up to the seacoast in May last year, the old truss bridge that for 88 years had spanned the Piscataqua River from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Kittery, Maine had been torn down and a new one was under construction. Yesterday we saw that the new one was not only up and running but there was people walking across -- something I never saw with the old bridge. I don't know if there was no pedestrian walkway before or not, but the new bridge seemed to encourage people on foot or bicycle to cross the river and enjoy the gorgeous views of Portsmouth Harbor.
Like the old bridge, the new bridge is dedicated to the sailors and soldiers of New Hampshire who participated in WWI. They saved some slabs of granit from the old bridge and put them in a small Veterans Park just before the entrance of the bridge.
It was a beautiful day and we couldn't resist the call to cross and take in the views up the harbor towards the Piscataqua River bridge, which carries Interstate 95 into Maine. The mighty Piscataqua River is a tidal estuary that empties out into the Atlantic east of Portsmouth.
Oddly, on the other side of the bridge in Kittery, we found tied up to a little dock the Niña and the Pinta, or "the most authentic replicas" thereof (according to a sailor manning the parking lot) of Columbus' sailing ships that "discovered America." We didn't go on board.
The Memorial Bridge is still a working truss bridge, or lift bridge, and we had to wait before walking back while the counterweights dropped and the center span of bridge lifted to allow a sailboat with a tall mast to pass. It lifted again after we'd crossed back and watched from Prescott Park.
Anyway, it was a lovely, if too brief, visit to Portsmouth. We'll have to go back soon.