I-93 expansion moves forward in Windham as funding concerns are rising
Contract administrator Conrad Skov, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, DOT Commissioner Chris Clement and project manager Peter Stamnas tour the new southbound stretch of Interstate 93 near Exit 3 in Windham on Monday afternoon. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
Just several weeks after writing a letter to House leadership urging support of the federal Highway Trust Fund, 2nd District Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., voiced concern over the expansion's current state of funding. Kuster, who joined state Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement and New Hampshire State Senate and House Transportation Committee Chairs State Sen. Jim Rausch and Rep. Candace Bouchard, among others, on Monday's tour, noted that the Highway Trust Fund is scheduled to drop below a critical funding threshold in June, which could potentially delay the project.
State officials hope that Senate Bill 367 will pass before the House before that happens. Rausch sponsored the bill, which he said would raise an estimated $32 million towards the interstate project.
Clement said money from the gas tax bill, combined with Garvey Bond funds, would be enough to complete the project.
Blasting around the Exit 3 area was well underway, Stamnas noted, as is work on the future Route 111, located farther away from Cobbetts Pond.
Once completed, the new Route 111 will be located farther south, with the current road turned into a cul-de-sac.
"We're trying to do as much work outside traffic as possible," he said.
DOT officials worked closely with businesses located along the corridor, notifying them well in advance of the blasts. Crews are processing gravel onsite to help curb costs.
From there, ramp work along Pelham Road and bridge repairs must be completed before the northbound lane can be re-routed. Stamnas said the goal is to shift the northbound lanes in late 2015.
Bypassing any funding glitches, state officials said the plan is to have three lanes completed in each direction, from Exit 3 to the Massachusetts state line, by the end of 2015.
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