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Facades for Nashua project's bridges debated

NASHUA - With the Broad Street Parkway design in its final stages, city officials must now decide what the facade of the project's three bridges will look like, and whether any money should be spent to improve their appearance.

"I think we want to put our best face forward," said Ward 5 Alderman Michael Tabacsko.

But other city officials and members of the public said they considered decorative rails, lights or overlooks unnecessary on the Nashua River Bridge and two smaller bridges on Fairmount and Baldwin Streets.

If all of the bridge enhancements were added to the three structures, it would cost about an additional $1.8 million, John Vancor of Hayner Swanson Inc., project engineer, told a joint meeting between the Board of Aldermen and the Nashua Board of Public Works.

"The price, quite honestly, is ridiculous," argued local resident Geoff Daly.

Alderman-at-Large James Donchess said he opposes spending any money to enhance the aesthetics of the bridges.

"I think every dime we can save we should be saving," agreed Alderman-at-Large David Deane.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said she would not support spending any additional funds on enhancing the aesthetics of the bridges.

Still, Lozeau said the project is about $4 million under budget, and she is open to the idea of spending some of that funding on beautifying the facade if city officials feel that is appropriate.

Lozeau noted the Broad Street Parkway is currently the largest municipally managed project in New Hampshire, and said she is fully prepared to be accountable for the project.

The 1.8-mile, two-lane urban roadway is an $82 million project. It is due for completion by the end of 2014.

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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at khoughton@newstote.com.

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