An accelerated timeline for the construction of Exit 4A off Interstate 93 is among the recommendations highlighted in Gov. Maggie Hassan’s proposed Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for 2017-2026.
“It’s very welcomed news because it was originally slated to begin in 2024. We felt that was just unacceptable, especially when construction of the widening of Interstate 93 is to end in 2020. We didn’t think it prudent to push out Exit 4A construction four years after I-93 construction ends,” Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith said.
Smith said he and other local officials “lobbied hard” to have Exit 4A construction moved up in the State’s Transportation Plan to a more aggressive rate.
In her proposed transportation plan, Hassan recommends construction starting in 2019, with a total commitment of $54.8 million for preliminary engineering, right-of-way work and construction.
The proposed date for completion of Exit 4A is 2022, two years before construction was originally proposed to begin.
Both Derry and Londonderry have already pitched in $1.7 million of their $5 million maximum contributions to Exit 4A.
The Londonderry Town Council authorized the Town Manager to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Town of Derry and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to move forward with construction of the interchange at its Dec. 7 meeting; the Derry Town Council approved the MOA at its Dec. 1 meeting.
As part of the agreement, the Town is to share with Derry the cost to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and supporting studies for Exit 4A, as well as a retainer for CLD Consulting Engineers Project team at a total cost of $204,744.
The retainer funds were added to the MOA to allow Phase II services to begin as soon as the scope and costs are approved.
At their Dec. 21 meeting, the Londonderry Town Council voted to issue a 10-year bond in the amount of $1.1 million for Exit 4A.
Hassan’s transportation plan comes after the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) held 16 public hearings and four public work sessions across the state and submitted their own proposal to the Governor in December.
The GACIT’S recommendations also included accelerating construction of Exit 4A in Londonderry and Derry to 2019, as well as increasing funding for red-listed bridges and bridge preservation; completing the widening of I-93; resurfacing an additional 200 miles of roads per year and replacing or rehabilitating an additional 23 red-listed bridges. The plan also focuses on preserving good roads now to avoid more expensive projects later, according to a press release.
Additionally, the Governor’s plan utilizes $4 million in available Federal Transit Authority Funds for environmental and engineering assessment work for the Capital Corridor Rail project. “Commuter rail will improve access to the entire region and provide new transportation and housing opportunities that 21st century workers and families are looking for, spurring economic development and creating jobs,” Hassan said.
The Governor’s Plan
is available online at http://1.usa.gov/1lb7YVh. It is to be considered by the State Legislature.