Transportation officials in Maine and New Hampshire announced Wednesday they've decided to permanently close the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which connects Portsmouth and Kittery via the U.S. Route 1 Bypass.

The decision to permanently close the 76-year-old bridge follows a mechanical issue that was discovered on Sunday.

The span was closed to motor vehicle traffic, but engineers were able to lift the bridge to the "up" position to accommodate marine traffic.

Officials from the MaineDOT said the bridge is not safe for routine operation without complicated and extensive repairs.

The estimated cost of those repairs is upwards of $1,000,000 and would take more than six weeks to complete.

The bridge was already scheduled to close permanently on November 1 to make way for continuing construction of the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which is scheduled to open in September 2017.