By Charles McMahon
August 09, 2013 2:00 AM
PORTSMOUTH — They came on foot and by bike, Segways, motorized carts, kayaks, Jet Skis, boats and even antique cars. Some brought their dogs, others brought their babies. Many carried cameras, hoping to capture the historic moment.
The opening of the Memorial Bridge on Thursday, a moment nearly two years in the making, drew a few thousand people to both downtown Portsmouth and Badger’s Island in Kittery, Maine.
And by all accounts, from transportation officials to local elected officials to civilians and veterans alike, the sentiment was much the same.
“It’s a glorious day on the Seacoast,” said Keith Cota, project manager for the N.H. Department of Transportation, the agency in charge of the $82.7 million bridge project.
“I feel whole again,” said Portsmouth Mayor Eric Spear, who was among the first people to ride across the bridge in a 1926 Model T Ford.
For most of the spectators who gathered on either side of the bridge Thursday, the momentous occasion marked a reconnection of two states and two communities.
“The bridge brings two communities together who have supported and stood by each other throughout this process,” said George Dow, chairman of the Kittery Town Council.
View two related stories: