Oil tanker strikes NH-Maine bridge pier, bridge OK

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm •  Published: March 7, 2014
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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Transportation Department says an oil tanker struck a pier at the Memorial Bridge that connects the state to Maine, and there's no apparent damage to the bridge itself.

Bill Boynton of the Transportation Department said the 600-foot-long oil tanker "Seapride" was outbound on the Piscataqua River when it struck a pier of the lift bridge about 5:15 a.m. Friday. The U.S. Coast Guard said the ship had offloaded ultra-low sulfur diesel and was headed back out when the accident happened.

No injuries or pollution were reported.

Boynton said the fender system designed to protect each bridge pier was damaged. The pier that was struck was on the Maine side of the channel.

Boynton said the incident has not affected lift operations at the bridge. The bridge remains open to motor vehicle traffic.

The Coast Guard said part of the fender system is missing and is believed to be under water. A spokesman said the accident is under investigation and that drug and alcohol testing are being done.

The bridge carries U.S. Route 1 traffic between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.