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Nashua asks residents to help create vision for riverfront

Union Leader Correspondent

April 11. 2017 12:04AM
A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Nashua City Hall to kick off a community master planning project for Nashua's downtown riverfront. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)

NASHUA — City officials are kicking off a master planning project this week that will develop a new vision for the downtown waterfront area.

“I think Nashua’s riverfront is an amazing amenity that we haven’t had the ability to capitalize on yet, even though there are some really great ideas,” said Sarah Marchant, community development director.

The community initiative will begin with a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Nashua City Hall; residents are encouraged to provide feedback.

The ultimate goal, Marchant said, is to form a 10-year master plan that will provide a clear, concise and comprehensive guide for improvements along the Nashua River corridor.

“The Broad Street Parkway has opened up views and access to the Nashua River more than ever before,” said Marchant.

A website has been created to collect public input. Suggested ideas include:

• Creating a pedestrian bridge to connect the downtown Riverwalk to the historic Millyard.

• Enhancing the existing trails near the Nashua Public Library.

• Building a pedestrian connection over the power canal into Mine Falls Park.

• Providing signs along the Broad Street Parkway informing residents how to access Mine Falls Park.

With redevelopment already taking place in the Millyard area, Marchant said the city needs a plan in place. Officials and residents need to determine what should be preserved and what could potentially be developed to maximize economic development in the downtown area, she said.

Once completed, the plan will have an overview with a list of projects and their priorities, along with cost estimates and an implementation plan.

According to Marchant, the master plan will include ideas that have the potential to come to fruition — not pie-in-the-sky proposals.

Halvorson Design of Boston, Mass., has been hired to assist with the project. The master plan is expected to be finalized by July.

The area of focus is the heart of downtown from Mine Falls Park upstream to the Bridge Street/Canal Street bridge just past BAE Systems, according to Marchant.

“The Nashua River is central to Nashua’s identity, and over the next few months, in concert with a talented landscape architecture and urban design firm, we will be developing a 21st century plan for the Nashua riverfront,” Mayor Jim Donchess said recently.

Once all of the ideas are gathered, the firm will take the data and create digital images using a drone that will fly over the Nashua River. A video will be created so that residents may witness a vision of the future possibilities for the riverfront area, city officials said.

Wednesday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Nashua City Hall auditorium.

To submit input via the newly formed website, visit

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