Public Hearing Plans for I-93 Exit 4A Project to Move Forward

he clock is ticking for public feedback about the Exit 4A Exit Project road plans that will impact nearly 200 local residents.  
During last week’s public hearing at the West Running Brook Middle School in Derry, the principal plan for a future I-93 Exit 4A was presented with a time sensitive last call for public feedback.  Alternative plan options were also viewed with the project team on maps posted on the school’s gymnasium walls. Nonetheless, the primary plan was the focus of the hearing and looks to be the plan tracking for construction in late 2019 or in 2020.
The hearing started informally, where project team members were available to discuss the alternatives and impacts with the public attendees.  Next a formal presentation was made that overviewed how approximately 200 residents of Derry and Londonderry will be affected by the project.  Some local residents will have their properties acquired by the State of New Hampshire under Department of Transportation guidelines for the project.

It is important to know that, with the Dec. 5 public hearing now completed, there will be 30 days left for inclusion of comments or questions within the official project record. The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) is available online for public review, and the review period to submit comments on that statement is open until Jan. 4, 2019.
After the public comment period on the SDEIS closes, a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) is anticipated in the March 2019 time frame, with a final Design and Permitting process to occur during the 2019, so the project can be launched by the end of 2019.
So, it is vital for anyone interested or who might be impacted by the project to provide comments or requests through the project’s internet site at: http://i93exit4a.com  
At the hearing, the project’s special committee, as designated by the NH Governor and Executive Council, introduced themselves and overviewed their individual responsibilities. This committee consists of Russell E. Prescott, Executive Councilor and Chair, Andru Volinsky, Executive Councilor and David K. Wheeler, Executive Councilor.
Key project leaders including Christopher Bean, Consultant Project Manager and Keith Cota, NH DOT Project Manager highlighted maps that illustrated the updated plan.
The public hearing moved from a detailed presentation to open-mic, public comments, with a chorus of local residents questioning how the project will affect them and the various property areas of the two primarily impacted communities, Derry and Londonderry.  
One Londonderry resident stated, “the project …is affecting many people …and maybe not in a positive manner.… they have not decided on the route yet, or have they? Have they decided on the route? 
Special Committee Chair, Russell Prescott answered “I think the answer will be coming to you after this evening.”
Local residents and business people expressed both encouragement and concerns about the project, including comments about traffic problems that will occur during the construction, property impact timelines, as well as concerns about project impact on a large area of wetlands.  
Several local business representatives expressed encouragement that the plan would enhance economic opportunities, as the project would further develop areas for business especially around Tsienneto Road in Derry.
Londonderry Town Manager, Keven Smith and Derry Town Administrator, David Caron have pointed out that the I-93 Exit 4A project would provide a lot of traffic routing benefits, within the two highly populated areas that have mounting traffic issues.
Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith has previously discussed how the project can open up acres of land on the Londonderry side for new economic development that could benefit the entire region and NH.  Additionally, Derry Town Administrator, David Caron has pronounced that the project will help to better handle traffic through Derry including the downtown area and could bring additional economic and business benefits to the town.
The primary plan focused on at the hearing, calls for the exit to come off from I93 about a mile north of the current Exit 4 and head east through Londonderry to connect near Folsom Rd. in Derry around the intersection of Madden Road and North High Street. The road area reconstruction will continue through Derry via Tsienneto Road and then be extended to the Beaver Lake area. The length of the project corridor is expected to be a little over three miles.
The Exit 4A interchange will not include a west bound exit to the heart of Londonderry, as primary road reconstructions will be aimed more towards the north and west Derry areas.  
The NH Department of Transportation (DOT) has stated that the project’s purpose is to enhance routing to relieve traffic delays that occur primarily on Route 102 through Derry. These delays can also create a back-up across the I93 Exit 4 area into Londonderry. Derry and Londonderry have both signed on to the NH DOT project with a view of enabling further regional economic development.
This DOT plan originally started in 1985 and is tracking for construction launch about a year from now, with a projected completion to occur sometime in 2022. 

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