Nashua moves forward with boat ramp improvements, new pedestrian bridgeBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
May 17. 2018 9:20PM
NASHUA — Contracts have been approved to move forward with two separate projects in the Gate City, including improvements to the Greeley Park boat ramp and the construction of a new pedestrian bridge.
This week, the aldermanic finance committee approved engineering contracts for both projects.
“This is so wonderful. We are finally getting something done with this,” said Alderman June Caron of Ward 7.
The pedestrian bridge will connect two existing recreational trails — the Heritage Rail Trail and the Mine Falls Park Trail — and include a new maintenance trail and bridge, according to Sarah Marchant, community development director for the city.
The new paved trail will extend from the existing rail trail, span about 450 feet along Everett Street, continue with a crosswalk over Ledge Street and then cross the Nashua Canal with a 90-foot prefabricated steel truss pedestrian bridge.
The new contract awarded this week to Hoyle, Tanner and Associates of Manchester is for engineering services totaling $83,592. The overall project is expected to cost a total of $536,000, with a grant covering 80 percent of the price tag and the city paying the remaining 20 percent.
“We don’t have the construction contract finalized yet,” said Marchant, explaining the work should begin later this summer.
The second contract awarded this week was for engineering services for improvements to the Greeley Park boat ramp. The $79,984 contract was awarded to Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., of Bedford, and is also being funded, in part, through a grant.
The Nashua Department of Public Works will also be assisting with some of the project in an effort to reduce costs, according to Marchant.
As part of the project, the access road to the boat ramp will be upgraded, and an expanded parking area will be considered.
“It is about high time,” Alderman-at-Large Michael O’Brien said of the boat ramp improvements.
Marchant said the existing, curvy access road will be modified into a more direct route to the city’s only access point to the Merrimack River. She stressed the importance of keeping the area as natural as possible for the neighborhood, explaining the city has been discussing the project with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to address parking needs while also preserving the area as much as possible.
According to the contract, the boat ramp work is expected to be completed by February of 2019. In Nashua, there are about 15 miles of navigable water in the Merrimack River that can be accessed at the Greeley Park boat ramp.