Broad Street Parkway update set for Thursday in Nashua
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON Union Leader Correspondent
NASHUA — As work progresses on the Broad Street Parkway, residents living in the heart of the construction zone are invited to attend an informational meeting this week.
Ward 4 residents wanting to learn more about the timeline of the work, changes to Fairmount Street and other traffic disruptions are encouraged to attend Thursday’s meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Amherst Street Elementary School, 71 Amherst St.
“Some constituents want to get updated on the project. There is a lot of asbestos, so I am sure there are going to be a bunch of questions,” said Alderwoman Pamela Brown, Ward 4.
Brown said there have also been some concerns raised about traffic on Fairmount Street, as the heavy police presence that initially existed during the start of construction has since dwindled.
“Heavy trucks are going back and forth on the road, and I know at least one constituent is concerned,” she said.
Thursday’s meeting will be the second of its kind in the Ward 4 neighborhood. Last October, residents gathered to discuss detours, drainage, asbestos and more. At the time, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau acknowledged that the initial phase of construction was going to be disruptive.
“There is no way around it,” she told those in attendance last fall. “This is not going to be a pleasant experience.”
However, by educating citizens about the timeline and process of the first construction phase for the nearly two-mile road, Lozeau said previously that she is hopeful it will help the project run smoother.
In November, construction began on the Parkway North/Baldwin Street section of the road.
R.S. Audley Inc. was hired to perform about $11 million in work on the first phase of the parkway. Under contract, the firm has until Nov. 1, 2014, to finish the Baldwin Street bridge portion.
The Baldwin Street bridge replacement is just a portion of the Broad Street Parkway construction because the Fairmount Street bridge also will be replaced, and a new crossing over the Nashua River will be constructed to open up 29 acres that could potentially be developed in the city.
The Broad Street Parkway is now the largest municipally-managed project in New Hampshire. The parkway is an $82 million road project, with a portion of that price-tag already being spent.
The estimated cost to complete the roadway is about $68 million, with $37.5 million being paid by the city and the rest through federal funds.
The ultimate goal is to connect Broad Street to the downtown area by allowing motorists to bypass Amherst Street via another crossing of the Nashua River, possibly attracting more business to the Millyard Technology Park and alleviating congested traffic.
Lozeau, Brown and officials from the Public Works Department are expected to be on hand for Thursday’s meeting.