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May 05. 2014 10:06PM

DOT to discuss Route 101 improvement project in Bedford

BEDFORD — Residents and business owners will have a chance to review the Route 101 improvement plans and offer informal input at a public meeting next week.

The state Department of Transportation will host a public informational meeting on Tuesday, May 13, to discuss improvements to Route 101, from Route 114 to Wallace Road in Bedford.

An informal open house with members of the DOT staff will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 7 p.m., at the Bedford High School cafeteria, 47 Nashua Road. Design plans are also available at www.nh.gov/dot/projects.

Victoria Chase, DOT project manager, said a public presentation questions and answer session will be held, but no testimony will be taken on the plan until a formal public hearing is held later this year.

“The purpose of this meeting is to present citizens and public officials with information regarding the proposed project and to solicit public input in order to ensure that project decisions meet public transportation needs and community goals, and protect and enhance the environment,” she said.

Rick Sawyer, town planning director, said the May 13 meeting will give residents and business owners an opportunity to have input on the plan.

“This is their chance to influence the decision being made regarding the design of the roadway and to let the state know of issues that the plan may create,” Sawyer said. “Also, it is the community’s chance to reinforce our support for the project that will hopefully bring relief to the congestion that unfortunately has become routine.”

Route 101 improvements have been delayed for several years, but the town and the DOT have continuously worked together to bring the plan to fruition.

“The state has been great in developing a plan that reflects many of the concepts of the Route 101 Corridor Master Plan adopted by the community a decade ago,” said Sawyer. “We are also working in partnership with the state to meet with a few of the business owners that may have their access impacted to determine if there are ways to mitigate those impacts early on in the process. Finally, we have been assisting the state by providing site plans, septic plans, subdivisions and easements for the various properties along the highway.”

HB 2014, the transportation improvement plan, is scheduled to go before the Senate’s Transportation Executive Committee today. The plan will go before the full Senate on May 15.

Once approved by the Senate, the bill will go before Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council for final approval.

The bill will provide about $12 million to widen up to five lanes of about two miles along Route 101 from the Route 114 intersection to Wallace Road.

On March 25, an amended version of the 10-year improvement plan was approved by the House. The amendment also provides $8,090,000 in federal funds for mitigation and obtaining right-of-way properties.

Construction is expected to start in fall 2016.

The plan also includes work on red-listed bridges and highway repairs, including $2.3 million to replace the bridge/culvert over Pulpit Brook, and Twin Brook Lane safety improvement in 2019; $1.8 million for bridge/culvert replacement at Route 114 in 2018; $300,000 for the bridge rehabilitation over Riddle Brook at Wallace Road in 2017; $480,000 for bridge replacement over McQuade Brook at Cider Mill Road; $725,000 for bridge replacement over McQuade Brook at Catesby Lane in 2020; and $1 million for bridge replacement over Baboosic Brook at Beals Road.





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