Spaulding Turnpike overhaul continues on schedule
In recent weeks, crews have begun clearing trees in the median between the southbound and northbound lanes north of Exit 3. Heading south toward Interstate 95, a bridge abutment has started to appear in the area of Pease International Tradeport that will carry traffic through a new Exit 3 interchange to Woodbury Avenue once complete.
In total, the project is expected to cost about $212.8 million. The first phase, contract “L,” is construction of the southbound Little Bay Bridge, which is nearing completion. Phase two, contract “M,” covers construction of Exits 3 and 4, expected to be done in the summer of 2015. Rehabilitation of the existing Little Bay bridge, contract “O,” will begin once traffic is moved off it. Contract “Q” covers construction of Exit 6 and of soundproof walls in the area. The final contract, “S,” covers rehabilitation of the General Sullivan Bridge, which provides pedestrian and bicycle access between Dover and Portsmouth.
In their place, a full interchange at Exit 3 is being created, as is a full interchange at Exit 6 to Dover and Durham.
It is all being paid for through the turnpike investment program.
Cota said the big question mark regards the historic General Sullivan Bridge.
“We still have to take a look at the existing structure and see what type of problems we have with the bridge and see if it will be cost-effective to rehabilitate, but the goal is to rehab that structure and save it,” Cota said.
A big point of discussion at Thursday’s meeting was whether to put up a transparent sound wall along Pomeroy Cove, or the typical wooden sound wall planned for other areas of the project. A transparent wall could cost four times as much or more.