NASHUA — It has been more than a decade in the making, but construction on the first major phase of the Broad Street Parkway is expected to begin in about a month.
According to John Vancor, project manager, construction equipment will likely be on the site of the northern portion of the future roadway by Nov. 1.
City officials are supporting a contract bid of nearly $11.1 million for one of four sections of the Broad Street Parkway. R.S. Audley Inc. presented the lowest bid for the first and largest construction contract for the roadway, which will include building the Parkway North/Baldwin Street section of the road.
The first contract was expected to be closer to $14 million, so Vancor said he is pleased to have received low bids.
"Overall, that is very good news," he added.
Vancor said there are still some unknown issues with the first phase of construction, specifically noting asbestos in the work zone.
Within the next month, Vancor said he expects that a pre-construction meeting will be held with neighbors to update them on the process, construction schedule, hours of operation and more.
"We want that meeting to be as informative as possible," he told the aldermanic Committee on Infrastructure last week.
Alderman-at-Large Barbara Pressly said it is critical for residents living near the construction zone to fully understand the situation before work crews arrive.
"I think the neighbors need to know how to protect themselves," she added. Asbestos was previously detected at the former Johns Manville site at 40 Bridge St.
The asbestos will be addressed early on during the winter months, explained Vancor.
"They want to start on it as soon as possible," Vancor said of R.S. Audley Inc. of Bow. Although the construction contract with R.S. Audley has not yet been officially approved, Vancor expects that to be finalized very soon.
Once a Notice To Proceed letter is issued, work will begin immediately, said Vancor.
There are still three other sections of the future two-mile urban roadway that have not yet gone out to bid, including the River Bridge portion, Fairmount Street Bridge portion and the Parkway South section. Those three contracts are expected to total an additional $22 million.
"We've had an aggressive construction schedule," Vancor said. There are still portions of several properties that have to be acquired before the full right-of-way is cleared for the final phases of construction, he said.
Gate City Tire vacated its site at 73 Broad St. about 10 days ago and is currently in the process of relocating its business, according to Vancor. An environmental team will be at the former Gate City Tire facility today to assess the existing conditions of the property, he added.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org