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Zip through I-93 tolls soon, stop at new rest area in the future
The Department of Transportation is ready to announce the winning bidder for two new, full-service welcome centers to replace the existing state liquor stores, visitors' centers and vending machines on the northbound and southbound sides of I-93 in Hooksett.
Just south of the service areas, transportation officials hope motorists will experience fewer delays going through the toll plaza when high-speed tolling opens later this month.
The $22.5 million project, which included upgrades to three bridges, is expected to improve the capacity of the highway five-fold and mean a faster trip for the nearly 70 percent of motorists who use E-Z Pass.
The welcome center projects are estimated to cost $32 million, with the Liquor Commission reimbursing the developer $8.4 million for the liquor stores. The developer is to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the service areas with the exception of the liquor stores.
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff Writer Mark Hayward contributed to this report.
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