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Toll expansion, bridge get engineering honors

May 25, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s open-road tolling at Hooksett and the new Memorial Bridge have received high honors in engineering.

They’ve received “National Recognition Awards” from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Both projects presented engineering challenges, and both were constructed and completed on very aggressive schedules.

The Hooksett project, which opened on May 29, 2013, involved the demolition of six conventional toll lanes and the construction of four lanes of highway speed toll lanes, the widening of approach roadways, and the realignment of four interchange ramps.

The state Transportation Department says that since the open-road tolling opened, E-ZPass use at the Hooksett tolls has increased 4.6 percent and that 66 percent of all vehicles now use the electronic passes.

The Memorial Bridge project connecting Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Kittery, Maine, opened on Aug. 8. The Memorial Bridge project replaced a closed steel bridge with a new modern lift bridge that honors its predecessor in design, while featuring some engineering innovations.

The bridge is the first in the nation to eliminate the use of gusset plates and includes the use of modern techniques for cold bent steel fabrication. The steel bridge has a metalized coating with a service life of up to 50 years.

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