Kittery Fuel and More

Warm hearts key to heating homes in Seacoast town

fuelandmoreGroup hopes to raise $50K
September 01, 2014 2:00 AM

KITTERY, Maine — Although the weather is still warm, the members of the Fuel & More heating assistance program are already focused on the coming winter.

The organization’s major fund-raiser, the seventh annual River Dance, takes place Saturday, Sept. 6, and will set the stage for all of its fund-raising efforts.

Jeff Gordon of Fuel & More said the group’s goal is to raise $50,000 a year for fuel assistance, and the River Dance brings in about $15,000 of that funding. The remainder comes from individuals and businesses, he said.

All of the money goes to help Kittery families who make too much money to qualify for general assistance but find themselves unable to juggle all bills and fuel costs.

“This is for working people who find themselves behind the eight ball and can’t get assistance from the town,” Gordon said.

Fuel & More served about 90 families last year, which was up from the previous year because it was such a cold winter.

“And we’re prepared to do that again,” he said.

Families do have to go through an application process. They receive 100 gallons of oil or its equivalent in propane or kerosene, Gordon said.

The River Dance is held at the Weathervane Lobster in the Rough on Badger’s Island. Owner Terry Gagner donates the restaurant for the evening.

According to Gordon, food is being provided by many local restaurants and businesses including Loco Coco’s, Golden Harvest, Seaport Fish, AJ’s Pizza, Badger’s Island Pizza and Terra Cotta Pasta.

The evening is sponsored by Leeward Industries Inc., which owns and operates Leeward Landing Thrift Shop in York.

Ben Baldwin and the Big Note will provide music for the evening.

Gordon said the evening is always fun, adding the event helps a good cause.

“We’ve really helped so many people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to stay warm,” he said.

Tickets: Weathervane Lobster in the Rough, People’s United Bank, RiverRun Bookstore, Kittery Community Center, TD Bank and Sugarz Salon, Kittery; Ceres Bakery and Zev Yoga, Portsmouth

For information:


Go & Do

What: Seventh annual River Dance

Where: Weathervane Lobster in the Rough, Kittery

When: Saturday, Sept. 6

Time: 7 to 11 p.m.

Benefits: Fuel & More fuel assistance program

Cost: $30 per person or $55 per couple

Tickets: Weathervane Lobster in the Rough, People’s United Bank, River Run Bookstore, Kittery Community Center, TD Bank and Sugarz Salon, Kittery; Ceres Bakery and Zev Yoga, Portsmouth

For more information:

Matt Light visits Kittery Trading Post. 09/03/2014


Matt Light to attend KTP’s Septemberfest

September 01, 2014 2:00 AM

KITTERY, Maine — Former New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light will be at the Kittery Trading Post on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

Light’s appearance is part of KTP’s 38th annual Septemberfest. A three-time Super Bowl champion who retired in 2012, Light will be at Kittery Trading Post from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to meet the public and sign autographs. His appearance is sponsored by Carhartt and the Kittery Trading Post.

A two-hour concert by Don Campbell benefiting the Spruce Creek Association Clean Water Monitoring Project and Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership is also set for Sept. 3, beginning at 6 p.m. The lineup of Septemberfest events includes performances by magician Norman Ng, juggler Jason Tardy, female chain saw artists Chainsaw Chix, and slackline yoga demo on a 1-inch webbing by YogaSlackers.

Also making appearances during Septemberfest are outdoor personalities Brian Quaca of TV’s “Pigman” hunting series, Larry Weishuhn, Whitney Isenhart, Jason Hornady and Super Slam hunter Tom Miranda.

Septemberfest Week wraps up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, with a special appearance by Grammy-nominated country/rock artist Aaron Lewis. A complete schedule of events is at

Kittery’s Walter Wheeler to be honored on Labor Day

August 28, 2014 2:00 AM

wheelerKITTERY, Maine — Former state Rep. Walter Wheeler of Kittery will be honored by local Democrats at an event on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1.

Wheeler served as state representative from Kittery for eight years, from 2002 to 2010, when he faced term limits. A World War II veteran, he is a retired machinist at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Monday’s picnic is sponsored by the Seacoast Democrats, and will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the picnic gazebo across the street from Fort McClary. Grilled foods, corn and beverages will be provided. Cost per person is $10. For information and to register, visit

Kittery Admiralty Village crews clearing problem trees

Roots removed following an arborist report
August 28, 2014 2:00 AM

1-Lumberjack_Using_a_Chainsaw_to_Cut_a_Log_clipart_imageKITTERY, Maine — The military housing complex Admiralty Village is undertaking a tree clearing project that has resulted in the removal of several dozen trees, with more likely.

The trees are not only being cut down, but the stumps and roots removed, after an arborist report indicated issues with roots growing into sewer lines, said Kathleen Grim, vice president of marketing and communications for Balfour Beatty Communities, which owns and manages Admiralty Village.

Moreover, Grim said, management at Admiralty Village is also concerned about some trees becoming “potential hazards to our homes” due to the increasing number of storms with high winds.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard public affairs officer Danna Eddy said problems have also been identified with root invasion to foundations, walkways and driveways.

“The Navy … agrees that the removal of these trees was necessary to ensure the safety of our military members,” she said.

According to Grim, Admiralty Village staff started receiving calls that storm drains were becoming an issue at the complex. After investigating the situation, the staff determined that sewer lines were being compromised by root systems.

Moreover, management worried that many trees were too close to the apartments. The concern is that increasingly damaging storms could cause the trees to topple.

“The storms have really been picking up in intensity,” she said.

She said Balfour Beatty hired New England Tree Preservation in Rhode Island to conduct an assessment of tree inventory.

“They targeted certain trees that should come down,” she said. “We didn’t do this willy-nilly.”

Throughout the housing complex, evidence of the tree removal can be seen in the upturned earth. Grim said more will be removed, but she was not sure how many.

She said tree management has “always been part of our improvement plan.” She said after tree stumps are removed, most areas will be planted with grass.

“It may not be pretty right now, but it will be,” Grim said.

Eddy said the shipyard has received one negative comment about the work, and Balfour Beatty has reportedly received comments pro and con, “with the majority being positive.”

Patti Jo Smith, a Philbrick Avenue resident, blasted the effort in a letter to the editor in the Portsmouth Herald.

“Not only is this bad for the environment, they’ll make the housing so much hotter without the natural shade,” she said.

Kittery and Eliot have success pooling police resources
August 28, 2014 2:00 AM

KITTERY, Maine — More than 18 months after Eliot/Kittery Police Chief Theodor Short became the first chief in Maine to run two departments, a police “force multiplier” is under way, which Short says adds to the effectiveness of both departments and saves taxpayer money to boot.

Short said he has made clear to all officers in both departments that “if either needs assistance, just go. Don’t wait or ask for permission. Back each other up when you feel the call dictates that kind of response.

“The result is a better work environment, not an imaginary wall” between the two, he said.

Short said that since becoming interim chief in Kittery in December 2012, a post he assumed full-time the following May, he has been working to “stabilize” the police force in town. The month he came aboard, former police Chief Paul Callaghan resigned after a vote of no confidence was taken in his leadership.

“We have been working to build pride in the organization and pride in Kittery,” Short said. “And I think given conversations I’ve had with community members, we’ve achieved that. People speak highly of the department.”

He said he had assumed before taking the job in Kittery that the natural orientation of Eliot residents would be toward South Berwick, because the two towns share a school district.

“What I’ve found is that, absent the schools, most of what I see indicates strong ties between Kittery and Eliot,” Short said. “That surprised me. I didn’t anticipate that.”

Many police issues are similar, as well, he said. Both towns share traffic problems, for instance, on Route 1 in Kittery and Route 236 in Eliot. He said he recently found ties between the two communities in terms of heroin-abuse problems.

“A lot of police intelligence is related to heroin use” in both towns, he said. “I hear about it on just about a daily basis.”

On drug and other investigations, Short said, Kittery’s two detectives and Eliot’s detective often team up, “so we can have three detectives working on an incident at no additional cost,” he said. “We’ll see people committing crimes in Kittery that have Eliot ties and vice versa.”

The same is true of patrol work, he said. Kittery and Eliot officers routinely back each other up on calls “when they feel the incident would dictate that kind of response.”

On the midnight shift, for instance, there is only one Eliot officer on duty and two in Kittery. Having backup, while it happens “routinely” throughout the day, is often very beneficial during overnight hours, Short said.

And there is economy of scale that benefits taxpayers in both towns, he said. In the past, officers who needed backup might have to call in off-duty officers who are paid overtime.

“But the bigger benefit is the public safety response, because we can have more officers now in a shorter period of time,” he said.

He said that from an administration perspective, he is also reducing costs by purchasing such things as uniforms, bulletproof vests and other equipment for more officers. There are 19 officers in Kittery and eight in Eliot.

“It’s that constant search of looking where we can operate better at an administrative level in a shared position,” he said.

Short recently explored sharing a lieutenant between the two towns. He said because there are four officers new to policing in Eliot, he thought it better to have one supervisor full time in the department. Eliot has no sergeants and just one lieutenant. “But I still think it’s a viable option for the future,” he said.

Whether there is a full-scale consolidation of both departments will have to be answered by town officials in Eliot and Kittery.

“Towns want their own identity and part of that identity is their police department,” Short said. “I appreciate and understand that. And I think we’re in a good position right now.”

Town Council to address KPA issues

Workshop to explore role of the chairman
August 26, 2014 2:00 AM

KITTERY, Maine — In advance of a workshop with the Kittery Port Authority next month, town councilors raised a number of issues and questions they want answered by KPA members.

The Town Council will be meeting with the KPA on Monday, Sept. 15, to address concerns ranging from recent allegations of possible discriminatory practices to the role of the chairman to a lack of clarity over KPA project oversight.

Council Chairman Jeff Thomson sought input from other board members on the matter so that there could be a productive workshop.

Councilor Chuck Denault said he was concerned about comments made two weeks ago by a squid fishermen that KPA action to ban squid fishing at Pepperrell Cove could be construed as discriminatory, as many of the fishermen are Asian.

“I’m concerned that this places a cloud over the Port Authority. I am comfortable that there isn’t any racism going on down there,” Denault said.

However, he suggested that not only the KPA but other town boards and committees should consider taking sensitivity training offered by the Maine Municipal Association.

“Just to make sure we don’t ‘open mouth and insert foot,’” Denault said.

Councilor Judy Spiller said she was concerned about project oversight. For instance, she said, why is it that some people thought a ramp used by lobstermen would be included in the recently completed float project, only to find out “that it’s not part of the project.”

She also said the KPA has not consistently been good at communication, in terms of posting agendas and minutes on a regular basis.

Russell White said he thinks the Town Council needs to discuss the role of the chairman.

“When I was on the KPA, the chair was expected to be a 20-hour-a-week volunteer to administer the business of the KPA,” he said. “That’s an awful lot of work to fall on a chair,” suggesting that the council consider examining whether the chairman needs administrative support.

The Sept. 15 workshop was originally going to be held Sept. 8, but has been rescheduled.

Nomination Papers taken out for Town Council

 JEFF judy 2003-2-21-ken_augusta
Jeff Brake         Judy Spiller       Ken Lemont
Kittery incumbents running for Town Council
August 25, 2014 4:09 PM

KITTERY, Maine — Both incumbent members of the Town Council are expecting to run for re-election this fall, and the current chair of the School Committee may also be seeking a seat on the council.

Town councilors Judy Spiller and Jeff Brake, as well as longtime School Committee member Ken Lemont have all taken out papers to run for the council.

Meanwhile, Town Clerk Maryann Place said Monday, no one has yet taken out papers to run for one of two open seats on the School Committee, currently held by Lemont and member David Batchelder.

While Spiller and Brake have not returned their papers, both said they intend to seek another three-year term on the council.

Both said they feel the town is in good hands now, with the hiring of Town Manager Nancy Colbert Puff last fall. Colbert Puff came to Kittery after a difficult year in which the former town manager and police chief resigned, and Place served as interim manager.

They both said now that town government has stabilized, they each have issues on which they would like to concentrate.

Spiller is interested in looking at issues that affect Kittery’s economy. She was instrumental in revitalizing the shared services committee, which is looking at ways to regionalize services with other communities.

“It’s crazy that we have a transfer station in Kittery and less than a mile down the road, one in Eliot. So I’m anxious to get that issue before the council again,” she said.

She said she is also viewing with some concern an upswing in development in Kittery Point.

“I’d like to make sure Kittery Point maintains its current character, and it doesn’t turn into a series of housing developments,” she said. While she understands that landowners have a right to realize a profit from their property, she said she would nonetheless like to see Kittery Point “lightly developed.”

She would support setting aside funding to help organizations like the Kittery Land Trust and the Spruce Creek Assocation.

Sea level rise is another of her concerns. She said the comprehensive plan update will soon be coming before the Planning Board and Town Council, and she will “be looking for some reflection of sea level rise policies” in that document.

Brake, who is filling the unexpired term of former councilor Gary Beers, said he wants to see the town council focus on solid waste issues. For instance, he said the transfer station can be “making much more money for the town, and nothing’s been done.”

He said the town was supposed to purchase a new bailer, but “that got thrown on the back burner.” He feels the transfer station operation should work toward being self-funded.

Neither Lemont nor Batchelder could be reached for comment.


Kittery Police Department Log 08/13/2014 to 08/19/2014

Kittery Police Department Log 08/13/2014 to 08/19/2014

BadgelogAugust 13th

12:27 a.m. – An officer initiated a motor vehicle stop on US Route One.

6:40 a.m. – Another agency was assisted on Watts Street.

9:33 a.m. – A motor vehicle accident involving a vehicle and a deer was reported on US Route One.

12:15 p.m. – Officers responded to Brave Boat Harbor Road for an alarm.

12:18 p.m. – An alarm from Halstead Street was investigated.

12:25p.m. – A resident came into the police department to report a lost I-Phone.

12:35 p.m. – A report of criminal mischief on US Route One was investigated.

2:05 p.m. – An officer assisted another agency.

3:04 p.m. – A report of a scam was received.

3:38 p.m. – A two vehicle motor vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Walker Street and Main Street.

4:04 p.m. – Another motor vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Walker Street and Main Street.

4:23 p.m. – An alarm received from a location on Stevenson Road was investigated and found to be a false alarm.

4:51 p.m. – A citizen came into the police department to report a violation of a court order.

5:15 p.m. – Following a complaint on Cutts Road, Gregory Alan Swanton, 47, of 9 Old Cutts Road was summonsed for failure to control dog resulting in damage to livestock.

6:05 p.m. –An alarm received from Ranger Drive was determined to be a false alarm.

8:00 p.m. – Another agency was assisted.

9:59 p.m. – Officers responded to Bridge Street for a report of disorderly conduct.

August 14th

4:57 a.m. – An alarm received from a business on US Route One was investigated and found to be a false alarm.

7:37 p.m. – An alarm was received from US Route One.  Upon investigation it was determined to be a false alarm.

9:09 p.m. – An officer served paperwork on Shapleigh Road.

9:17 p.m. – Paperwork was served on Pepperrell Road.

9:30 p.m. – An animal complaint was received from a resident of Charles Hill Road

10:33 a.m. – An officer served paperwork on Traip Ave.

2:09 p.m. – An officer responded to US Route One for a report of a motor vehicle accident.

4:53 p.m. – An animal complaint was received from Coleman Ave.

6:45 p.m. – A dog at large on Busdick Drive was reported.

6:48 p.m. – An officer assisted another agency on Oak Ter.

7:45 p.m. – An officer attempted to serve a summons on Old Cutts Road.

7:50 p.m. – An officer responded to US Route One to check on the welfare of dogs left in a vehicle.

8:33 p.m. – A call was received regarding a civil matter on Shapleigh Road.

8:51 p.m. – Officers assisted the fire department at the location of a fire.

8:22 p.m. – A citizen came into the police department to report harassment.

8:28 p.m. – Following a report of a domestic disturbance on Love Lane Teresa M. Smith, 50, of 20 Love Lane was arrested for domestic violence assault.

August 15th

1:17 a.m. – An officer assisted another agency on Bridge Street.

7:21 a.m. – An alarm from State Road was investigated and found to be a false alarm.

10:57 a.m. – Paperwork was served on Adams Drive.

3:29 p.m. – A citizen came into the police department to report harassment.

6:06 p.m. – An officer served paperwork on Walker Street

7:20 p.m. – A burglary to a motor vehicle that occurred on the US Route One Bypass was investigated.

7:25 p.m. – A report of a dog left alone was received from Manson Ave.

9:51 p.m. – A dog bite occurred in the vicinity of Irwin Street and Howard Street.

8:20 p.m. – A resident came into the police department to report the loss of their license plate.

9:45 p.m. – A report of online harassment was received from Watts Street.

11:02 p.m. – An officer checked on suspicious activity they observed on Route 236.

11:41 p.m. – Officers responded to Wilson Road for a noise complaint.  Peace was restored.

August 16th

12:21 a.m. – A noise complaint was received regarding a location on Wilson Road.  Peace was restored.

12:41 a.m. – Suspicious activity that an officer observed on Wilson Road was investigated.

2:31 p.m. – A noise complaint on Goodsoe Road was investigated and determined to be unfounded.

2:35 a.m. – An officer checked on suspicious activity they observed on US Route One.

3:02 a.m. – Following a motor vehicle stop on State Road Arlene M. Hatch, 47, of 65 Northdale Road, West Roxbury, MA was arrested for operating under the influence.

8:01 a.m. – A theft was investigated on Eliot Road.

8:28 a.m. – A theft that occurred on Oak Ter. Was investigated.

9:17 a.m. – An officer responded to Oak Ter. for a report of a theft.

11:37 a.m. – Derek Lahaye, 35, of 17 High Street Unit #7, Winchester, NH was arrested on another agency’s warrant.

11:55 a.m. – An alarm from Pocahontas road was investigated.

5:11 p.m. – Following a report of a domestic disturbance on Ledgewood Drive Shannon Lee Welch, 31, of 500 Ledgewood Drive Unit #L2 was arrested for domestic violence assault.

6:03 p.m. – A theft from a vehicle was reported by a resident of Eliot Road.

9:59 p.m. – An officer responded to Howard Street for a noise complaint.  Peace was restored.

August 17th

2:16 a.m. – A noise complaint was received regarding a residence on Commercial Street.  Peace was restored.

12:55 p.m. – A call was received reporting dogs left in a closed vehicle on US Route One. 

1:43 p.m. – A resident of Eliot Road called to report burglary to their vehicle.

3:46 p.m. – Suspicious activity on the US Route One Bypass was investigated.

5:45 p.m. – An alarm received from Badger’s Island West was investigated and determined to be a false alarm.

9:15 p.m. – Officers responded to State Road for a noise complaint.  Peace was restored.

11:46 p.m. – An officer responded to Cutts Road to investigated suspicious activity.

11:11 p.m. – An officer initiated a motor vehicle stop on Bridge Street.

August 18th

1:45 a.m. – An officer initiated a call for drunkenness in public.

8:03 a.m. – A disturbance was reported on Wentworth Street.

2:45 p.m. – A two vehicle motor vehicle accident occurred on Rogers Road.

4:02 p.m. – An officer responded to Government Street for a civil issue.

5:32 p.m. – A motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles occurred on State Road.

5:53 p.m. – A cell phone was reported lost on Pocahontas Road.

6:02 p.m. – A report of theft was received from Martin Road.

7:39 p.m. – Paperwork was served to an individual at the police department.

8:45 p.m. – A report of shoplifting was received from a business on US Route One.

10:43 p.m. – Officers responded to Manson Ave to investigate a noise complaint.

11:17 p.m. – A noise complaint was received regarding a location on Dismukes Street.

August 19th

3:18 a.m. – A report of suspicious activity on US Route One was investigated.

5:54 a.m. – An alarm from a location on Shapleigh Road was determined to be a false alarm.

8:16 a.m. – An officer investigated a burglary to a motor vehicle on Love Lane.

10:21 a.m. – James W. Rabideau, 32, of 96 Broadway Ave Unit #A, Dover, NH was arrested on another agency’s warrant.

11:32 a.m. – A two vehicle motor vehicle accident occurred on State Road.

2:22 p.m. – Michael Ricker, 53, of 60 Church Street, Milton, NH was summonsed for Harassment by Telephone.

2:50 p.m. – A resident came into the police department to report a scam.

3:22 p.m. – An officer investigated a report of theft.

5:19 p.m. – A motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles occurred on State Road.

7:17 p.m. – A report of a theft of a motor vehicle on Charles Hill Road was investigated and determined to be unfounded.

7:42 p.m. – William Michael Yuva, 18, of 4 Dana Ave unit #2 was arrested on a warrant.

8:16 p.m. – An officer attempted to serve a warrant on Cutts Road.

10:25 p.m. – Following the report of the theft of a motor vehicle on State Road Rolinda J. Desjardins of 4 Dana Ave, Unit #21 was arrested for theft by unauthorized use of property.



Bridge 1: A lifeline to naval shipyard

$15-20 million replacement vital to yard’s future
August 24, 2014 2:00 AM

PNSY Bridge1_McHenry_140801 PAOKITTERY, Maine — The Memorial and Sarah Mildred Long bridges are not the only ones in the Seacoast that have reached the end of their useful life in recent years and need to be replaced.

A construction contract is expected to be awarded by the end of September on a new $15 million to $20 million bridge between Kittery and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey Island to replace the current 100-year-old bridge.

“Bridge 1,” as it is called at the yard, connects the yard with the mainland at the shipyard’s Gate 1, which empties out into Kittery Foreside. The rail line into the shipyard also travels over Bridge 1.

The replacement bridge project is expected to begin this winter and take two years to complete.

Due to the unique design of the existing bridge, completed in 1914, the replacement is being built in two sections and not all at once, said Gary Dion-Bernier, the shipyard community plans and liaison officer.

“It’s technically two individual structures,” Dion-Bernier said. “They can build half the road, and then the other half. So, presumably100 years from now, they can do the same thing.”

This will allow for traffic to flow just as it does now during peak periods in the morning and afternoon. At all other times, traffic will go through Gate 2 on Whipple Road.


The existing bridge to the shipyard was built at a time of great activity and infrastructure growth. In order to allow larger ships to navigate the Piscataqua River, in 1905 a 400-foot-long part of Seavey Island called Henderson’s Point was dynamited.

According to Public Affairs Officer Danna Eddy, that significant moment in the yard’s history, which eventually allowed submarines to come up river, was followed by a veritable building boom. The first dry dock was completed in 1906, the Portsmouth Naval Prison in 1908, and the naval hospital in 1913.

“Direct rail transportation was provided from the shipyard and extensive improvements were made to the shipyard’s utilities,” she said. “On the waterfront, locomotive cranes were purchased for hoisting and hauling, replacing the old method of block and tackle with oxen.”

While the yard repaired small ships, tugs and ferries, that all changed soon after the bridge was constructed. The following year, in 1915, the shipyard laid the keel of the L-8, the first submarine constructed at the yard, Eddy said.

The bridge took two years to build and cost $125,000, which included land acquisition for the approach road, Eddy said. It is a four-span, riveted girder bridge with concrete and granite piers.

This was not the first bridge to the shipyard. The first was built in 1825 several hundred feet to the west of the current Bridge 1, and was used for horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians, said Kerry Vautrot, the shipyard’s cultural resources manager.


Between the 1940s and today, repairs were made “to nearly every piece of the bridge: piers, girders, deck, sidewalk and guardrails,” former shipyard public works officer Cmdr. B.L. Weinstein stated in a report filed last spring. As those repairs were made, said Weinstein, “it informed the Navy that the steel used to construct Bridge 1 was high in sulfur content, making it brittle, and successful welding nearly impossible.”

While there is no structural problems with it currently, said Dion-Bernier, “any major modifications or adjustments are not feasible or technically viable without replacing the entire structure.

“It’s getting tired from the strain of the weight,” he said.

In his report, Weinstein said a 2011 bridge inspection indicated the bridge is “‘fracture critical,’ which means that there is no structural redundancy. If one of the steel member failed, the entire structure would fail.”

“Given our mission requirements, this is not an ideal situation,” he wrote.

bildeCAG3NTXQNot only is Gate 1 the primary gate for the 4,700 workers at the shipyard today, it also supports the rail line. Spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear submarines repaired there is transported “on an infrequent basis about once a year” from the shipyard to the Department of Energy Naval Nuclear Reactor Facility in Idaho, Eddy said.

Weinstein notes in his report that if the bridge is not replaced, “loading restrictions will preclude rail traffic within the next five years, jeopardizing the shipyard’s mission.”

The new bridge

The old bridge is basically going to be demolished, one half at a time, down through the deck and the underlying superstructure to the piers, Dion-Bernier said.

A center rail and bumper system that separates the two decks would be removed entirely under the new design, leaving the entire width available for cars, a new pedestrian walkway and, for the first time, a bike lane.

Utilities to the shipyard, which currently are routed through that center structure would be relocated and replaced with updated lines and conduits, Weinstein wrote.

One of the key reasons for phasing the project, said Dion-Bernier, is “to minimize the period rail would be out of service to create a non-impact on shipyard operations.”

The bridge piers are going to remain in place, and will be strengthened by a series of small drilled holes, called micropiles, that are then filled with cement. The same approach was used on the new Memorial Bridge.

Because no new piers are being built, said Dion-Bernier, the project has received approvals from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and there is no involvement of the Army Corps of Engineers.

No archaeological sites are expected to be unearthed during construction, he said. Under the federal Historic Preservation Act, the plans have to be approved by the state of Maine historic preservation officer. While that approval is pending, said Dion-Bernier, documentation provided to date has not identified any problems, he said.

Areas of the shipyard deemed a hazardous waste Superfund site are not near Gate 1, he said.

Eddy and Dion-Bernier stressed that due to the nature of the two-part construction most Kittery residents should notice no change from the current peak-time traffic patterns.

From 5:30 to 8 a.m. and 2:30 to 5 p.m., the bridge will be open to one lane of traffic, as is currently the case; the remainder of the 24-hour period, it will be closed to all traffic. Any vehicles coming to the yard during the off-peak hours will have to enter via Gate 2, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week during construction. Gate 2 is currently open during peak hours, but other than that, hours are limited.

The shipyard did send out a mailing to residents of Gate 1 and is preparing to send out another to those near Gate 2, as well.

While Kittery Police Chief Theodor Short said he anticipates additional activity at Gate 2 during construction, he said “I’m comfortable with where we are.”

“One of the things we’re probably going to see is more traffic at Gate 2,” he said. “While there’s nothing I can do to prevent that, we do have a cooperative relationship with the shipyard and I’m sure we’ll keep the lines of communication open.”