State Firming Up Plans for I-93 Construction Projects

A representative from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) gave the Planning Board an update on improvements along the Interstate 93 corridor and the proposed Exit 4-A.

Two projects are to be completed in Londonderry that are anticipated to cost $100 million and take four years to complete, according to DOT Project Manager Peter Stamnas.

The DOT plans to advertise the first two of four remaining construction projects along the corridor in the fall of 2015 and the second two projects in the fall of 2016, with construction to begin in the spring of 2016. The entire I-93 corridor improvements project is expected to be complete in 2020.

“We have quite a bit of work to do all along the remaining 12-mile stretch and the projects will all be active at the same time,” Stamnas said at the Planning Board’s Wednesday, Dec. 3 meeting, noting the project is now fully funded. “We are going to maintain existing lanes on the main line from a traffic control standpoint. That is a requirement.”

Additionally, Stamnas said the State is advancing 24 right-of-way acquisitions in Londonderry that must be completed to begin construction.

Improvements included in the two projects within the Town are the widening of four miles on I-93 from Kendall Pond Road to just south of Exit 5; replacement of the bridge over Beaver Brook and the replacement of culverts there; rehabilitation of the bridges over Kendall Pond Road and Stonehenge Road; and construction of a New Hampshire 102 bridge and Ash Street Bridge over the interstate, with two lanes of traffic to be added to the New Hampshire 102 bridge.

Also to be completed as part of the improvements project is reconstruction of northbound on- and off-ramps at Exit 4.

Member Ann Chiampa asked if infrastructure was being placed for a mass transit line to Boston.

“There’s potential for mass transit along the corridor and we left room to accommodate it, but nothing is there now,” Stamnas said.

Stamnas told the Board there will be some construction impacts to town roads as part of the projects.

“There will be times when we’re having signalized control in one lane crossing Ash Street in order to complete construction on that bridge,” he said.

Chairman Arthur Rugg asked what the State plans to do with the old cross bridge located there.

“We’re looking to have an adaptive reuse. The bridge has been documented from a historical standpoint,” he said. “We’re working on trying to provide a resting place for portions of the bridge and possibly provide some sort of a plaque for the bridge itself.”

In addition to the road and bridge improvements, Stamnas reported a total of 7,400 linear-feet of sound wall will be installed along Trolley Car Lane and Seasons Lane, and 10 open water quality basins will be installed along the corridor to treat rainfall and runoff from paved surfaces.

Member Chris Davies expressed concern for the impact that corridor improvements will have on homes along Stonehenge Road and asked about sound walls to buffer those areas.

“A sound investigation all along the corridor was completed, and those that meet the policy for installation of sound walls will get sound walls,” Stamnas said. “I’m not suggesting it isn’t noisy, there’s just a policy in place. An area has to meet a value criteria of cost to construct, and a lot of areas are not dense enough.”

Exit 4-A Update

In his update on the status of Exit 4-A improvements, Stamnas said the DOT will take responsibility for final design and construction of the project.

The preferred alternative locates the new exit approximately one-half mile north of the Ash Street overpass, approximately 1.3 miles north of Exit 4, according to Stamnas. The proposed road alignment from the exit merges with Folsom Road, then follows Tsienetto Road.

Additional improvements to the east are also proposed.

Londonderry and Derry are responsible for all costs to complete Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) for the project, with a maximum contribution of $5 million each, including expenditures to date.

The DOT is in the process of drafting a three-party agreement detailing those responsibilities for both towns and the DOT to sign, according to Stamnas.

“We’re moving forward with an assessment of the existing information in the EIS and looking to see if the information in it is current and accurate. Then, once that assessment is complete, we’ll look to determine next steps from there,” he said. “We hope to keep both towns engaged in the process so we can take this to the finish line and move on with it.”

Member Scott Benson asked if the DOT has a timeline for when to expect Exit 4-A construction to begin.

“It depends on the EIS,” Stamnas said. “We need to look at the information from the study completed in 2007 and determine how much needs to be updated. If there isn’t a need for much updating, it could be six to 12 months. But if it’s in need of a lot of information it could take longer.”

As the DOT shifts focus north to the remaining $250 million in improvements along the corridor past Londonderry up to Manchester, Stamnas said he encourages residents to check for corridor news online at and to sign up for construction notifications available by email and through social networking service Twitter, which provide advance notification of traffic-related impacts, when lanes will be impacted, and when there could be a delay in commutes when using the main lines.

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