Route 101 improvements are on track in Bedford
After several delays and years of waiting for Route 101 improvements, Bedford residents and commuters will soon benefit from an expansion of the highway from the intersection of Route 114 to Wallace Road.
The plan also includes work on red-listed bridges and highway sections in need of repairs — $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.
Town Council Vice Chairman Bill Jean, Town Manager Steve Daly and Town Engineer Jeff Foote and some department heads met with the DOT on April 2 to discuss the status of the project.
"The town has identified two proposed restricted business access points that may be less than desirable for the business owners and will approach the business owners and try to negotiate a beneficial solution to provide alternative full access. If this can be negotiated and agreed to by property owners the work could be incorporated into the project and constructed as part of the project with no cost to the business owners," he said.
"Speaking personally, I am pleased with the collaborative and inclusive roll the town is having in the project development. I anticipate the public will have a voice at the public meeting," he said.
The 2002 Bedford Route 101 Corridor Study identified Route 101 as one of the worst highways in New Hampshire. In Bedford, Route 101 is a barrier that cuts the town in half, separating neighborhoods and dividing the town center from the community. Traffic was expected, at the time the study was concluded, to increase 35 to 50 percent in 20 years. In Bedford, the study recommended expanding Route 101 up to five lanes with a dividing median, shoulders, sidewalks and landscaping to promote safety for drivers and pedestrians.
Also affecting Bedford are projects in the 10-year transportation plan along the F.E. Everett turnpike, including the removal of tolls on exits 11 and 12 in Merrimack, at $1.6 million each. Both projects are contingent upon the relocation of the Bedford main line toll south of its present location on the Everett Turnpike, and Merrimack's acceptance of Continental Boulevard as a municipal highway.
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