September 13, 2013

(Concord, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) toured the Sewalls Falls Road Bridge today to renew their call for repairs after inspecting its condition and being briefed on the aging structure. Shaheen and Kuster were joined by Concord Mayor Jim Bouley and other local officials who have led the bridge replacement effort. The Sewall Falls Bridge, constructed in 1915, is a one-lane roadway that provides local access to both the east and the west sides of the Merrimack River in the northern section of Concord, without the need to access I-93.  The condition of the bridge, which has already been downgraded to a maximum vehicle weight of three tons, has subjected some Concord residents to extended emergency response times because some first responders are forced to use I-93 to travel, potentially jeopardizing public safety.  

“Improving our infrastructure is critical to our economy and to public safety, which is why we have to replace the Sewalls Falls Road Bridge as soon as possible,” said Senator Shaheen. “We need to ensure Concord’s emergency responders are able to swiftly respond to medical emergencies and threats to public safety.  We can make New Hampshire more attractive to business and industry - while putting Granite Staters to work- by investing and upgrading our infrastructure. I’m going to keep working to replace this bridge and improve infrastructure throughout New Hampshire.”

“I was proud to join Senator Shaheen, Mayor Bouley, and Concord city officials to see firsthand the need for replacement of the Sewalls Falls Bridge,” Kuster said. “This bridge is an important connection for the local community, but its deterioration presents a threat to public safety and emergency response times. I’ll continue to work with Senator Shaheen to push for expedited federal approvals to move this project forward as quickly as possible.”

As a result of a recent study, the bridge’s weight limit was downgraded to three tons. That move prompted Senator Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster to urge Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to expedite the replacement of the bridge because of public safety concerns.