New Hampshire Department of Transportation officials say the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge remains closed to traffic following a malfunction, and it's possible the span may never reopen.
The 76-year-old bridge, which connects Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine via the U.S. Route 1 Bypass, malfunctioned at about 11 a.m. Sunday and became stuck in its down position.
Because federal law mandates that river traffic takes precedence over cars, the lift span was raised early Monday morning and now remains stuck in its up position.
NHDOT spokesman Bill Boyton says the issue stems from a faulty wheel on the bridge's southwest corner tower that carries cables for lifting the span.
With the new $172 million Sarah Long Bridge scheduled to open in September 2017, Boyton says it may remain closed permanently.