A stunning photo journey through the construction of the Sarah Mildred Long bridge.

Water is a large part of our local culture and landscape. And our bridges are a crucial component of our connection. Rick gives us a creative and inspired look at the construction of the new Sarah Mildred Long bridge.

About the speaker

Bridging the Piscataqua

With the right timing and much luck, Richard Hopley secured a contract to do monthly aerial photographs of the construction of the new Sarah Long Bridge. Beginning in March 2016, Richard flew a total of 20 helicopter flights, where he quickly learned the thrill of aerial photography with “doors off"! By the end of July 2018, he had captured over 7000 images, documenting the beauty and complexity of the project and creating a historical visual legacy.


Richard retired after 30 years with the City of Portsmouth and now spends time pursuing his serious hobby of photography. Richard enjoys capturing several types of photographic subjects including landscapes, macros and portraits. With a professional background in civil engineering, one unique area of interest is construction photography, documenting major projects from beginning to end, thereby creating a visual record of what was and what is now.

Favorite quotes from this talk See all

In order to pull this job off, they take this barge here, and bring this barge underneath the span at low tide, and then wait for the tide to rise. Then once the bottom quarter of this truss make contact with the barge, they cut away the steal, and then float this section right out. — Richard Hopley

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This is a fascinating presentation of how the new Sarah Long Bridge came to be. Three very unique bridges connect Maine and New Hampshire, spanning the powerful Piscataqua River--a huge design and engineering feat on many levels. Mr. Hopley's opportunity to document the Sarah Long project gives us insight to this amazing process. His images are beautiful, from gorgeous sunset shots right down to the nitty-gritty details. Highly recommend for anyone with a love of photography, engineering, and seaport life.

Martha Barker