By Alex Malm
The Town Council received an update regarding the I-93 Exit 4A project during its Sept. 11 meeting.
Wendy Johnson, a Project Manager with the NH Department of Transportation, explained that this Fall/Winter they are going to continue constructing best management practices and are going to continue the ramp and noise barrier construction.
“The north bond noise barriers are anticipated to be completed this Fall with the equipment moving to the southbound barrier once the northbound is complete,” Johnson said.
She said they also hope to complete the median pier bridge and hope to begin to set some bridge gridders.
For the Winter/ Spring of 2024, they are going to continue the southbound work, Johnson said.
In the Summer, the plan is to construct the overhead signs, build the bridge over I-93 using night time lane closure, having final pavement insulation, and having final pavement markers, signs, and signals installed.
“Then in the Fall of 2024 the project will be complete,” Jonson said.
Johnson noted that the estimated cost hasn’t changed for the project.
“It’s still at 53.96 million,” she said.
Town Council Chairman, John Farrell, asked when the sound barriers for Trolley Car Lane are going to be put up.
“The sound barriers will go up after the northbound ones are complete,” Jay Levine, a Contract Administrator for the NH Department of Transportation, said.
Levine stated that there have been some talks about adding a second crew, which would speed things up.
“That hasn’t really been confirmed or not,” he said.
He said worse case if they don’t get a second crew then they should be up by August.
“I’m hoping to get a second drill crew,” Levine said.
Town Manager, Mike Malaguti, noted that they have heard concerns about Trolley Car Lane and the shape that it is in. He added that once he heard those concerns, himself and Director of Engineering, John Trottier, visited the road the next day.
“Trolley Car is not in great shape, but it’s not because of construction access to this project, its really because it’s a wet area,” Malaguti said, noting it’s on their radar.
Another question raised came from Town Councilor, Ted Combes, who asked if when the project is completed in October it will mean that people would be able to use it and go towards Derry.
Johnson explained that the plan is for the A project to be constructed first and it was decided to do it that way so development could occur for places like Woodmont Commons.
She said the one caveat with it though was that the roadway wouldn’t be open until the B project was ready to receive it.
The one exception, however, would be if Woodmont Commons was ready sooner.
“Unless Woodmont Commons came in sooner and then we would open the ramp at that time,” Johnson said.
In terms of construction for the B project, Johnson said the project is expected to begin construction this Summer and anticipate it would take about two years to complete.
If Woodmont was to be ready before October or before the B project is completed then they would open the roadway for Exit 4A earlier.
Malaguti explained that himself and Assistant Town Manager/ Director of Economic Development, Kellie Caron, “are in touch with Woodmont regularly.”
“They’re actively marketing that side of the highway they have a few irons in the fire,” Malaguit said, noting he thinks they will begin to see some activity there soon.
“Certainly we will advocate for the prompt opening of that as soon as its online,” Malaguti said.