SALEM — Once again this construction season, drivers will be seeing a lot of activity along Interstate 93 as part of the $800 million road-widening project. A big portion of the work will take place in Salem between exits 2 and 3.
“One of the main goals this year is that by Labor Day on the southbound portion, we will be opening up about four to five miles of new roadway with a lot of safety improvements,” said Jay Levine, the state Department of Transportation’s I-93 coordinating supervisor.
By the end of the summer, Levine said an additional lane of roadway into Massachusetts should be ready for everyday travel.
This week will see some nighttime lane closures on the northbound side of I-93 near exit 2, according to Levine. Tonight and Tuesday night, construction will require that traffic on I-93 northbound be reduced to one lane. Levine said the work will take place during non-commuter hours, from about 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
At the conclusion of Tuesday night’s work, if all goes as scheduled, I-93 northbound traffic will be shifted toward the median onto the newly paved portion of roadway.
George R. Cairns and Sons of Windham is the general contractor for the $41 million portion of the I-93 widening project near exit 2.
During the height of the summer, from approximately the Fourth of July to Labor Day, commuters will be seeing a lot of construction activity on the southbound side of I-93 from exit 3 to exit 2.
During the summer, Levine said crews will also clean up and finish some work near Exit 5 in Londonderry.
As in past years, public safety officials are urging drivers to use caution.
“The continued construction projects do, at times, present inherent dangers which include smaller lanes of travel, dust, lane shifts, distractions of the construction equipment (and) a driver looking at what is being done instead of driving with due care in these construction zones,” Sgt. Paul Hunt of the New Hampshire State Police said.
Hunt said he believes the state has done a great job of outlining its plans for construction, making sure there are plenty of orange construction signs warning motorists of work zones, properly marking lanes, and adding police details and flaggers for safety.
“The bottom line is that the motorists need to slow down, pay attention to the traffic in front of them — which can slow at a moment’s notice — and leave plenty of room between vehicles,” Hunt said.
Drivers should also allow extra time for their trips because of possible congestion in the work zones, he said.