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$3.6 million roundabout near Nashua-Hudson line advances

NASHUA — A proposal to construct a multi-lane roundabout at the city's eastern border with Hudson jumped another hurdle this week, although one neighbor doesn't believe the reconfiguration will help remedy traffic.

On Monday, the aldermanic Human Affairs Committee voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to construct the $3.6 million roundabout at the intersection where East Hollis Street and Canal Street meet Bridge Street.

A separate aldermanic committee also previously supported the project, which will be considered by another elected body — the Nashua Board of Public Works — on Thursday.

Some city officials believe that a roundabout, as opposed to the existing signalized intersection that now exists, will help connect various properties, increase safety and improve traffic flow at the busy intersection.

Up to 40,000 vehicles travel through the intersection on a daily basis, which is about twice as many vehicles that travel over the Main Street Bridge each day.

"It is suppose to move 50 percent more (vehicles) through," said Alderman Diane Sheehan, adding the roundabout is designed to keep traffic moving while also slowing down the speed of vehicles in the area.

Peter Schaefer of 15 E St. lives next to the proposed roundabout, and has some reservations about whether the change will help alleviate traffic congestion.

"I'm still trying to understand whether this circle would work," Schaefer told committee members, adding the roundabout could become overwhelmed with vehicles during rush hour traffic.

His primary concern is that emergency vehicles may not have direct access to the bridge into Hudson if too many cars are sitting idle on the roundabout.

"I do think it will back up," Schaefer said.

Sheehan stressed that the roundabout will only be beneficial once Hudson implements its own traffic improvements on the opposite side of the bridge, which is in the works.

"This won't work unless Hudson makes some changes as well," said Sheehan, adding Hudson officials are committed to correcting traffic woes in that area.


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