Anyone who has been to the Market Basket in Londonderry lately may have noticed an increase in construction. The supermarket and surrounding retail shops are part of the Woodmont Commons development, an attempt to bring a piece of urban living to small town New Hampshire.
“It’s all kind of in flux,” said Colleen Mailloux, the town planner for Londonderry. “The development is truly a Londonderry development.”
Over the next few months, constructions crews will be in front of Market Basket doing road work and laying utility lines down, as well as working on the drainage pond. They are already at it in the parking lot, shutting down an entire section to the public.
This is part of phase one for the development. Over the summer, crews were out doing what Mailloux called, “utility prep,” of laying down pipes and lines for when the new buildings start going up. The focus has been on creating the infrastructure needed for the rest of the build. Another major part will be extending the road from the shopping area out to Pillsbury Road. It will be called, “Michels Way,” but it will not be open for public use, according to Mailloux.
Mailloux said a traffic study was done of in the area so the developers and contractors would have an idea of how their work would impact the surrounding neighborhoods. So far, she believes that “appropriate mitigations” are being put in place to make sure residents are not too inconvenienced by the construction. She believes trucks from the construction area will use the Route 102 entrance to the plaza. However, the town does not regulate how the construction crews access the area.
Mailloux said there are “no long term closures or impacts affecting the Pillsbury area at this point.”
The construction zone off of Pillsbury Road is coordinated through the town’s Department of Public Works and the developers.
One of the developers, Mike Kettenbach Sr. of RMD, Inc. said the construction will be finished and Michels Way will be open to the public “the week of Nov. 1.”
Along with the creation of Michels Way, the town will also see some improvements to Route 102 and Gilcrest Road over the next year or two. The state road will be widened to accommodate the increased flow of traffic to the area, while Gilcrest will have a turning lane added.
Once Michels Way is open to the public, Mailloux believes the connection will “reduce cut through traffic going down Gilcrest.” As the construction continues, the Planning Board will keep an eye on any traffic changes that happen on either Gilcrest Road or Pillsbury Road.
“We’re going to keep revisiting this,” said Mailloux.
The entire Woodmont Commons development is over 600 acres. It stretches from the exit 4a construction area back behind Pillsbury Road and over past the Londonderry/Derry town line. The 10-year plan will focus on the area west of Route 93, concentrating more on the 45 acres surrounding the existing Market Basket plaza. Mailloux said phase one of the project should be done within the next four to five years.