March 30, 2011
Work to begin around Exit 5
By APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- Just over a month after the Governor and Executive Council approved a $36.7 million contract for the widening of the Exit 5 area of Interstate 93, construction on the project is well under way this week.
On Tuesday afternoon, a single lane in the northbound section of the highway near Exit 5 remained open, as workers began the long process of redirecting traffic for the lengthy project.
State transportation officials stressed the occasional lane closures and traffic shutdowns would be limited to times of low traffic volume, and two northbound and southbound lanes would remain open the majority of the time.
According to state Department of Transportation Commissioner George Campbell, the project, which will be completed around June 2014, includes the reconstruction of two miles of the highway and surrounding areas on Route 28, as well as improvements to both the north and south exits.
Those improvements will include the replacement of four red-listed bridges over Route 28, reconstruction and widening of approximately two miles of highway both northbound and southbound, reconstruction and widening of approximately 0.9 miles on Route 28, construction of a new northbound on-ramp and connections to both the northbound on-ramp and the southbound on- and off-ramps, and the reconstruction of segments of nearby Perkins and Auburn roads and Liberty and Independence drives.
A new traffic light at the intersection of Route 28 and Liberty Drive will make the area safer for the hundreds of commuters passing through each day.
Candia’s Severino Trucking Company was awarded the contract in early February, and the project will mark the state’s first time using Garvee Bonds, which are backed by future highway funds due to the state.
Garvee Bonds, an acronym for “Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles,” can only be used on contracts that pass Federal Highway Administration approval, and in the case of Exit 5, offer an alternative for projects that would otherwise be stalled by the state’s attempts to obtain more permanent financing.
Londonderry Community Development Director Andre Garron said the project would increase the capacity of the Route 28 roadway from Liberty Drive to Perkins Road, as well as improve the capacity and circulation of Exit 5.
Next summer, when the new Airport Access Road is expected to open, the updated interstate will provide a direct link to the F.E. Everett Turnpike and at the same time enable access for the dozens of local companies stationed near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.