Summer season's over...Ready for a little I-93 night paving?
By PAUL FEELY New Hampshire Union Leader
Drivers who travel along Interstate 93 through Hooksett should expect delays at night due to paving, the latest in a series of detours between the tolls and the Massachusetts state line.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is notifying commuters that cold planing and pavement resurfacing operations will take place overnight on the I-93 Exit 11 on and off ramps at the Hooksett tolls tonight through Wednesday night, weather permitting. The work will require traffic on I-93 to be detoured to the next exit for access to Route 3A. Traffic on Route 3A will also be detoured to access I-93. The detours will be in place from approximately 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
NH DOT officials say message boards and detour signs will be in place to assist drivers. The work is part of the Central Turnpike Resurfacing Project. Continental Paving, Inc. of Londonderry is the contractor on the $4.1 million project, expected to be completed by Friday.
This work is just one of several ongoing projects along the I-93 corridor.
Jay Levine, New Hampshire Department of Transportation I-93 coordinating supervisor, said workers continue installing drainage across I-93 north and south through this Friday, part of the new Exit 2 Interchange construction work in Salem. Weather permitting, the work will take place during non-commuter hours, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on I-93 northbound, and 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. southbound. Traffic on I-93 north and south will be reduced to one lane. This work is part of the $41 million I-93 widening and reconstruction project in the vicinity of Exit 2, handled by George R. Cairns & Sons, Inc. of Windham. Work is expected to continue until 2015.
Northbound traffic moving through Exit 5 in Londonderry could see a lane shift before colder weather moves in, ending the construction season.
“They aren’t required to, but their goal is to shift the traffic this year,” Levine said.
DOT’s Matt Lampron, contract administrator working at Exit 5, said while Candia-based Severino Trucking Inc. is aiming to shift the northbound traffic this fall, that’s not set.
R.S. Audley Inc. of Bow secured the $35.1 million contract for the I-93 southbound widening project at Exit 3 in Windham, which includes work at the interchange with Route 111.
DOT will advertise a contract to relocate Route 111A in Windham in September or October, said Levine.
Levine and New Hampshire State Police Troop B commander Chris Wagner, whose officers patrol I-93, are pleased with how drivers have handled construction this year.
“We’ve fared pretty well,” Wagner said. “There haven’t been any major incidents that we attribute to the ongoing construction project.”Two traffic fatalities occurred this past June and July, one in Salem and one in Windham, but police determined they were unrelated to construction, he said.Along with the $162 million in projects that Levine labels “in progress,” $151 million worth of projects have been completed. There is another $250 million in work scheduled to take place from 2014 through 2020, but current budget projections show the money running out in 2015. To pay for it, some lawmakers are attempting to craft a bill involving a smaller gas tax increase than the 12-cent increase killed during the last legislative session.
A hearing this week in Londonderry, and one next month in Derry, will give residents a chance to weigh in on the DOT’s proposed transportation plan, as lawmakers try to come up with the funds to finish the project.
The Londonderry hearing is Thursday at 7 p.m. at the town offices at 268B Mammoth Road. The hearing in Derry is Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the town’s municipal center at 14 Manning St.
For more information about the project, including diagrams, contract descriptions and costs, visit www.rebuildingi93.com.