NASHUA — With construction slated to begin next week on the future Broad Street Parkway, city officials on Wednesday approved an associated $3.8 million in various services for the roadway project.
The aldermanic Finance Committee awarded a construction administration services contract for $1.2 million in bridge and wall work, in addition to a civil engineering services contract in the amount of $2.4 million for construction management and administration support. The panel also approved about $153,000 for the parkway’s final design.
Alderman-at-Large Barbara Pressly questioned when the Board of Aldermen will have an opportunity to review options for the facade of the three bridges included in the nearly 2-mile roadway that will provide another crossing over the Nashua River.
“I thought we were going to be able to see the design work,” said Pressly.
Mayor Donnalee Lozeau acknowledged that there were some challenges with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation regarding bid alternatives. She said federal highway officials would not allow the city to consider bid alternatives until the three individual contracts have been awarded.
So far, just one of three major contracts for the parkway’s construction has been accepted. At least one other bid for another part of the contract work should be advertised this week, according to Lozeau.
Although the safety design of the parkway has been completed, the aesthetic design has not yet been determined, she said, stressing city officials will still have an opportunity to provide input on the facade of the bridges.
Various aesthetic options will be reviewed by aldermen and the Board of Public Works likely in late January or early February, said Lozeau.
Earlier this year, city officials were torn on how much money should be spent to improve the aesthetics of the project’s three bridges — the Nashua River Bridge, Fairmount Street Bridge and Baldwin Street Bridge.
At the time, visual enhancement options such as decorative rails, lights and overlooks were debated by aldermen, as some said the beautifications are unnecessary and others thought the enhancements would be beneficial.
Some of the optional improvements include decorative concrete rails, ornamental lighting, straight or haunched girders, concrete surface treatments with colored tints, pedestrian overlooks, arches and high focus treatments at the entrance and exits of the bridges.
“We can’t revisit that until the bid is awarded,” Lozeau said of the numerous facade options.
The parkway has been in the making for more than a decade. Construction on the first major phase of the roadway is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. City officials previously supported a contract bid of nearly $11.1 million for one of three sections of the Broad Street Parkway. R.S. Audley Inc. has been awarded the largest construction contract for the roadway, which includes building the Parkway North/Baldwin Street section of the road.