NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 2, 2013

Editorial: Road work ahead on I-93

With warmer weather just around the corner, construction is ramping up again on Interstate 93.

That will be bad news for drivers this summer. But ultimately, everyone will benefit from a expanded, safer highway with improved traffic flow.

This construction season should see about $162 million worth of work done, a significant fraction of the $800 million project to widen I-93 in Southern New Hampshire. The bulk of the work will be done between Exit 5 in Londonderry and Exit 1 in Salem.

“You’re going to see changes constantly out there,” Jay Levine, New Hampshire Department of Transportation I-93 coordinating supervisor, told reporter John Toole.

While there are some construction crews already out on the highway, work is scheduled to begin in earnest this month and in May, depending on the conditions caused by melting snow and runoff.

Work on the Exit 5 interchange and Route 28 improvements — a $37.3 million piece of the total project — will resume. This summer, expect to see northbound traffic shifted from its temporary, westward jog back to the newly reconstructed main roadbed.

“Our goal is to get traffic back on the main line,” Levine said.

Work in the Exit 5 area is expected to be completed next year.

The end won’t come as quickly for the rest of the project. Work is expected to continue for seven more years.

Besides the $162 million in projects that DOT said are “in progress,” another $151 million worth of projects are completed. A $39 million northbound project at Exit 3 is expected to be awarded this year. There is $250 million in work to come from next year through 2020.

In addition to the Exit 5 work, there are four other projects in progress for this summer:

A $32.7 million highway widening and bridge project at Exit 1 in Salem is slated for completion this year.

A $43.6 million project at Exit 2 in Salem involving interchange reconstruction, bridge and ramp work will continue this year and run through 2015.

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