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June 25. 2013 11:00PM

Broad Street Parkway delays worry Nashua mayor

NASHUA — Before approving two new contracts for the massive Broad Street Parkway project, the mayor raised concerns on Tuesday about the time-line of the roadway construction.

“My concern is that we’ve had a completion date of 2014 since we’ve started our work here,” Mayor Donnalee Lozeau told the Board of Public Works after members were informed of a recent permit delay.

Although Lozeau, along with project managers, have met with representatives from the Federal Highway Administration to try to keep the project on track, Lozeau said her main concern is the dollar figure.

“Time is money,” said Lozeau.

Sometimes a premium is paid to meet a specific deadline, she said, adding the objective is to keep costs low.

John Vancor, project manager, acknowledged the mayor’s concerns, agreeing that it is an aggressive schedule to have construction completed by the end of 2014 as planned.

He suggested that project representatives take a step back and meet with the design engineer to take a fresh look at the schedule to make sure the city won’t be losing money because of the quick turnaround.
The Board of Public Works was updated on several aspects of the Broad Street Parkway project on Tuesday, at which time Vancor stressed the importance of a stipulation placed in the previous memorandum of understanding to screen select areas of the Millyard for archaeological artifacts.

As a result, the board approved a nearly $62,000 contract with Hartgen Archaeological Associates Inc. of New York, to perform archaeological consulting services as related to the Nashua Manufacturing Historic District for the roadway project.

The board also approved a contract of up to $65,000 with Dennis Mires of Manchester to perform architectural design services within the same historic district.

The city is required to fulfill commitments to mitigate Broad Street Parkway impacts to the Nashua Manufacturing Historic District due to its historic and functional relationship with the complex, as identified by the New Hampshire Division of Historic Research.

The roadway design will require the removal of the far north section of what is known as Storehouse Two, which was built between 1851 and 1885. One of the two contracts is to develop construction plans for the removal and rehabilitation of a new north exterior wall at the historic structure.

There is also an 1896 Waste House, a small brick building with a brick foundation at the north end of the Millyard Canal, which lies in the path of the future parkway.“
The Waste House lies in close proximity to the Canal, and it is considered likely that there are Canal-related archaeological deposits or features between the two,” states a separate archaeological contract. “If present, the archaeological data could provide details about the original Canal construction in 1826, the 1907 Canal repair, the circa 1850 railroad and access bridge that at one time crossed the Canal at this location, and possibly, other construction and mill-related features.”
By the end of the year, major construction of the parkway will be under way, with the first segment of roadway construction expected to begin this summer.

Hayner Swanson Inc. of Nashua, along with Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, are creating the engineering design for the Broad Street Parkway from the Broad Street/Blue Hill Avenue intersection to Pine Street/Central Street.

The ultimate goal of the project is to connect Broad Street to the downtown area by allowing motorists to bypass Amherst Street via another crossing of the Nashua River, possibly attracting more business and people to the Millyard Technology Park.

The Broad Street Parkway is currently the largest municipally managed project in New Hampshire, Lozeau said earlier.

The parkway is an $82 million road project, with a portion of that price tag being spent before it was approved by the city in 2008. The estimated cost to complete the roadway is about $68 million, with $37.5 million being paid by the city and the rest through federal funds.

Work continues in the effort to acquire the right-of-way needed for the parkway, which is being overseen by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

The preliminary layout and alignment of the future 1.8-mile roadway has already been designed, however the final design has not yet been finalized.khoughton@newstote.com


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