Proposed Construction By Route 102 Will Impact Local Wetlands

The Conservation Commission heard a proposal for a gas and water extension last week that could affect some of the wetland areas off of Route 102. A joint effort between Liberty Utilities and Pennichuck Water Works would be laying down pipes to extend utility services from Buttrick Road down towards the new Cross Farm development by the flea market. This extension is a concern to the commission due to having several impacts on local wetlands.

Jeff Merritt of Liberty Utilities informed the commission that, to complete the project, there would be a total of 16,400 square feet of wetland impacted.

“It’s all temporary,” he assured the group.

The companies plan to use several different types of construction techniques to mitigate the amount of impact to the wetlands, including dredge and fill, which would have the contractors refill the wetlands after laying the pipes, and boring that would lay the pipes underneath the wetlands.

Merritt explained that Liberty Utilities would be laying down gas pipes starting at Buttrick Road, then Pennichuck Water Works “comes into play” with water mains by Young Road. The two lines would then continue on towards the Cross Farm development.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation “asked us to tuck it as close to the right of way line as physically possible,” said Merritt in an effort to reduce wetland impact. There are already underground telecommunications lines over by Young Road.

“All this land we’re working with is previously disturbed area,” said Merritt.

The addition of the water mains starting at Young Road will create a wetland impact of 11,000 square feet (which is part of the previously stated 16,400 square foot total). Brian Frost of Pennichuck Water Works explained that the company “tried to bore as much as the line as possible.”

“We’re trying to minimize overall impact,” Frost said.

Frost and Merritt told the commission they had already submitted the appropriate paperwork to the state, but Chairwoman Marge Badois said when she called the state to inquire about the paperwork, the office informed her that there must be a mix-up.

“When I contacted them, they hadn’t heard of you yet,” Badois told the two.

Frost and Merritt seemed confused, and Frost informed the commission that they had a letter from the state dated from Jan. 22 of this year confirming the paperwork submission.

The commission seemed to be appeased by the letter and Badois made a motion to approve the extension, which passed.

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