SEABROOK — Travel will soon be a little more time-consuming on Route 1 as a road widening project starts around the routes 1 and 107 intersection next month.
Set to begin May 1, the work is part of the construction of the 500,000-square-foot shopping center at the spot.
One of the busiest roadways on the seacoast, Seabrook’s stretch of Route 1 draws motorists throughout the year, eager to shop at the numerous retail stores and not be laden with a sales tax. But when warm weather brings vacationers and day-trippers to area beaches, the travel corridor can turn into a motorists’ nightmare, especially during commuting hours.
The first and last New Hampshire exit on Interstate 95, Seabrook’s Route 107 exit is a prime spot for travelers who want to avoid the expense at the Hampton toll booth, located at Exit 2. Many heading north leave I-95 in Seabrook to continue their trip on Route 1 until they reach their destination or reconnect with the interstate after the toll.
In the reverse, many drive south on Route 1 until they get to Seabrook, accessing I-95 off the Route 107 exit, again, to avoid the toll.
On hot beach days or during weekends, that scenario, coupled with normal seacoast tourist-season traffic, can turn parts of routes 1 and 107 in Seabrook into gridlock.
But the off-site road improvements slated to take place between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. begin Wednesday are part of the conditions the town set before it approved the mall being constructed by Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty. The location of the mall is a stone’s throw from the town’s busiest intersection at routes 1 and 107.
The portion of Route 1 in front of the coming retail outlet’s main entrance will be made larger, as will Provident Way, which provides a second access point to the plaza.