Work on future Nashua parkway progresses
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
NASHUA - This week, zoning officials approved one of the first applications for the Broad Street Parkway construction, giving crews the green light to work within wetlands to build the new bridge crossing. Construction will begin this summer on the future two-lane urban road that will serve as another crossing of the Nashua River.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment authorized a special exception request from the city of Nashua to work within the wetland buffer of the river and canal.
Work will start at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Broad Street, and continue along the southern side of the existing railroad tracks.
Currently, there is no treatment of any storm water runoff in that area, according to Dave McNamara of Fay, Spofford and Thorndike of Burlington, Mass. The new work limits of the parkway will be through detention ponds, said McNamara, maintaining the storm water runoff and drainage will be cleaner after the new roadway is complete.
"You will see a slight improvement," he told zoning officials on Tuesday.
Minor interior wetlands will be filled in, but they will be replaced with retention ponds, said McNamara.
Work continues in the effort to acquire the right-of-way needed for the parkway, according to Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, who said the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is performing this effort on behalf of the city.
"As the design has progressed, we have strived to reduce or eliminate property impacts wherever possible," Lozeau said last week during her State of the City address. "Several parcels which were anticipated to be affected have been avoided altogether. . The year ahead will be a busy one for the parkway."
By the end of the year, she said major construction will be under way, and there will be more opportunities for input on the bridge design.
Construction of the first segment of roadway is expected to begin this summer, with the project to be completed at the end of 2014.
The preliminary layout and alignment of the future 1.8-mile roadway has already been designed, however the final design has not yet been determined.
Hayner Swanson Inc. of Nashua, along with Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, is creating the engineering design for the Broad Street Parkway from the Broad Street/Blue Hill Avenue intersection to Pine Street/Central Street.
The ultimate goal of the project 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 and people to the Millyard Technology Park.
The Broad Street Parkway is the largest municipally managed project in New Hampshire, Lozeau said earlier. The parkway is an $82 million road project, with a portion of that price tag being spent before it was approved by the city in 2008. 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 project is about $4 million under budget.