Will Hudson Get a Bypass Road from Sagamore Bridge to Route 111?

October 26, 2018

 

by Len Lathrop

You know the phrase, “be careful what you wish for” especially if you are one of the “many” who have approached Selectman Coutu about traffic on Lowell Road. The question will be before the voters in the March election. Selectmen put the warrant article on the ballot Monday night as they reviewed town department heads’ wants and needs.

Selectmen have been discussing this project for years with many different names and scenarios, to relieve traffic on the Lowell Road corridor. Former Selectman Maddox might have been the first to talk about a town roadway from the end of the Sagamore Bridge to Route 111. Chairman Coutu directed a trip to meet with the NHDOT in Concord. This vision has long been a topic of conversation between Hudson, Litchfield, Nashua, and Concord as the original plan was called the Circumferential Highway and would have been a roadway to bypass Nashua, with a road from the F. E. Turnpike across the river through Hudson and then turn toward Litchfield and then a Merrimack River crossing from Litchfield to Merrimack. This project was never funded by the state and some years ago the Circumferential project was removed from the NH Department of Transportation’s 10-year plans.

The NHDOT was convened by the Hudson leadership team to get the very modified Hudson Boulevard plan back on the 10-year plan. The cost of this new highway will be paid for by the Town of Hudson, constructed by Hudson, and maintained by Hudson, until and if the NHDOT wants to builds the second and third legs of the original circumferential, which the state has indicated is a goal of theirs in their future. While Hudson is funding this project, the town has been applying for some federal support to the tune of about $25 million. To read the federal grant application, go to the town’s website at www.hudsonnh.gov.

The NHDOT has agreed to support the project by providing the engineering work and studies, the right-of-way from the shareholders, and environmental studies that are required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The construction cost to be carried by the Hudson taxpayers is between $45 and $48 million, and the voters will be asked in the March election to approve a 30-year bond to pay for this highway. During the selectmen’s discussion of this warrant article, it would cost the average residential homeowner about $330 annually starting in the second year of the bond.

Some key points

  • It will be a two-lane road with a 35-mph speed limit.
  • There will be a four-way intersection at Bush Hill Road, Speare Road, Musquash Road, Kimball Hill Road.
  • The boulevard will be depressed as it meets Trigate Road with a bridge over Trigate.
  • At Sagamore Bridge there will be single-point urban intersection.
  • Construction is planned to begin in 2020 with completion by 2025, with 20,000 vehicle trips in the first year.

Thinking questions

  • Will better traffic flow, removing cars from Lowell Road, take business away from Hudson businesses?
  • Why is there not more support from the state for other communities where this will have an impact for their citizens?
  • EPA problems have been present in two prior studies, one in the ‘60s and one in the ‘80s. Will the new reduced regulation from the Trump presidency resolve those issues?
  • Will Roger still have a license to drive when the road is completed?

There has been no mention of information sessions for Hudson voters. Be sure to educate yourself before the March elections and go vote.