Constructed between 1920 and 1923, the bridge was the first without toll to span the Piscataqua between Portsmouth and Kittery. The bridge was constructed as a joint venture between the states of Maine and New Hampshire and the federal government. It was dedicated as a World War I memorial.
Its plaque, above the entrance to the first truss span on the Portsmouth side, reads: Memorial to the Sailors and Soldiers of New Hampshire who participated in the World War 1917-1919. Originally, the road over the bridge was part of New England Interstate Route, also known as the Altantic Highway. When the New England routes were superseded by the United States Numbered Highways in 1926 it was redesignated as US 1.
The bridge was reconstructed in 2010 as the original structure had become unsafe. It was rededicated in 2013 by former Portsmouth Mayor Eileen Foley, who cut the red ribbon 90 years after she performed the same honors for the original span in 1923.