DOVER — Just in time for Memorial Day tourists, road crews have opened a third lane on the northbound side of Little Bay Bridge connecting Newington to Dover.
New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesperson Bill Boynton said the third lane was opened at 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
“The real push was to try and get it open before Memorial Day weekend,” Boynton said. “We know that’s been a major pinch point in the afternoons and on weekends. We’re very pleased.”
Officials hope that having a third lane open on the bridge will alleviate some of the congestion which backs up on the Spaulding Turnpike. Eventually, the plan is to have four lanes open on both the northbound and southbound side of Little Bay Bridge, but details are still being worked out on how bicyclists and pedestrians will be accommodated.
Boynton said four lanes may be open on the southbound side of the bridge within the next few weeks, which may help commuters traveling from Rochester and Dover to Portsmouth in the morning.
In addition to the lane expansion, crews have opened a new Exit 6 northbound off-ramp to US Route 4 and Dover. Motorists should be aware that they will need to turn left to head to Durham and right to get to Dover, which is different than the temporary off-ramp which has been in place over the past two years.
Boynton said the new Exit 6 off-ramp is located just south of the Route 4 overpass. The temporary off-ramp was located just north of the overpass.
Motorists intending to use the new Exit 6 northbound off-ramp are being advised to stay in the right lane as they proceed across Little Bay Bridge so they don’t miss the new exit.
The work that is being done on the Spaulding Turnpike is part of a $67 million project which is scheduled to be completed in October of 2020.