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September 29. 2013 6:35PM

Route 101 improvement plans continue to progress in Bedford

BEDFORD — Plans to improve Route 101 in Bedford are progressing, even though the state is delaying the work for another year, said Town Manager Jessie Levine.

Part of the process includes 25 public forums hosted by the Governor's Advisory Committee on Intermodal Transportation and the state Department of Transportation across the state on its 10-year transportation plan.

The Bedford hearing takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in the meeting room at BCTV Studio, 10 Meetinghouse Road.

"The (advisory committee) hearing is being held in Bedford, but it's to hear comments on the state-wide plan," said Levine.

She said residents should attend the forum to show support for the state's road and bridge improvement plans for Bedford.

According to the DOT's 2015-24 draft plan as of Sept. 5, the projects for Bedford include replacing a bridge and culvert over Pulpit Brook and Twin Brook Lane for $2.3 million; widening a 2-mile stretch to five lanes along Route 101 from Route 114 to Wallace Road for $8 million; Route 114 bridge and culvert replacement for $1.8 million; Wallace Road bridge rehabilitation over Riddle Brook for $297,000; Cider Mill Road bridge replacement over McQuade Brook for $482,000; Catesby Lane bridge replacement over McQuade Brook for $725,000; Beals Road bridge replacement over Baboosic Brook for $1 million; and a $18.5 million expansion of the Bedford toll plaza on the F.E. Everett Turnpike for construction of open road tolling final design and construction contingent on future toll increase.

Levine, Town Councilor Bill Jean, and representatives from the state Department of Transportation met recently to go over components of the Route 101 expansion.

Levine said the Route 101 project is expected to go to bid in fall 2016, with construction beginning in 2017.

Levine told the town council that it is an aggressive schedule.

"The overall message is that the project is progressing," Levine said.

Jean said he is also hopeful about the plan after meeting with the DOT.

"We basically walked through one end to the other, road by road and access point by access point, and how we as a town would envision some of the access points versus private entities versus the DOT," Jean said. "They're very receptive to our feedback and allowing us to be part of the progress."

The town will be contacting business and landowners along the Route 101 corridor as about 56 properties will be affected by the project.

The transportation plan undergoes a two-year cycle beginning with the state's nine regional planning commissions' review of the proposed projects, which are then ranked and recommendations are sent to the DOT.

Over the next year, the DOT prepares its draft 10-year plan, sends it to the governor's advisory committee, consisting of the DOT commissioner and the five Executive Councilors. The committee holds public hearings and revises the plan according to input and priorities. The governor reviews the plan and sends it to the Legislature for approval.

The 2015-24 draft 10-year plan contains highway, bridge, rail, transit and airport projects that are funded annually through the federal Highway Administration and the state.

Upcoming Governor's Advisory Committee on Intermodal Transportation forums include: Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m., at Keene Parks and Recreation, 312 Washington St.; Oct. 9, at 7 p.m., at the Epping Town Hall, 157 Main St.; Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. in Nashua at the City Auditorium, 229 Main St.; Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Portsmouth Terminal at Pease Transit Center, 185 Grafton Drive; Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at Milford Town Hall, 1 Union Square; and on Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m., at Peterborough Town Hall, 1 Grove St.

To view the 10-year plan, visit transportnh.org.

sclark@newstote.com


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