NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 25, 2012

NH seeks to ease congestion on Seabrook's busy Route 1

(Continued)

Considered a high-volume corridor, the section of road handles about 25,000 cars a day, Dugas said, and the lack of a second southbound travel lane has resulted in problems over the years. One spot of concern is at the BP station, where two lanes of southbound traffic must merge into one just after the intersection at Routes 1 and 107. The other is the intersection of Route 1 and Railroad Avenue, which over the past three years has seen 41 accidents, he said.

The widening wouldn’t be possible without the combined funding from DDR, Seabrook and NHDOT, according to Alexander Vogt, the state engineer managing the $1.5 million project. DDR will contribute $127,000 for the engineering design work. Seabrook, using exaction funds it has obtained from developers, will contribute $595,400. Of that, about $400,000 will go toward acquiring the land, or right of way, along the west side of the road needed for the widening. The remainder will cover the town’s 20 percent share of the construction costs. The state will provide the remaining $781,600 in construction funds, using federal highway dollars.

Vogt said the reason the project is slated for construction in 2015 is because of the time it takes time to acquire right of way. Although some of the property is available in highway easements that have already been negotiated, the remaining pieces could take a while to acquire. Appraisals must be done and prices negotiated with private property owners along the way, he said.

Currently, the project is slated to go out for bid around January 2015, with construction being completed during the same year, Vogt said. The state will not only add the lane, but will rebuild the sidewalks and move and re-install the signs and landscaping of private businesses as needed.

There will be a price to pay for residents who live on the roads that intersect the project area.

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