widening of Interstate 93 in New Hampshire between Manchester and the
Massachusetts line moved closer to reality recently when the Federal Highway
Administration gave the project the go-ahead.
John Lynch said widening the north-south route from two to four lanes in both
directions is critical to the state’s economy, public safety and quality of
people who live, work and commute in southern New Hampshire, traffic and
traffic jams are becoming too common,” Lynch said in a written statement.
approval is a major milestone in our efforts to start and complete the
expansion of Interstate 93 as quickly as possible,” he said.
signed a bill in May that allows the state to use grant-anticipated revenue
vehicles, or GARVEE bonds, to complete the expansion in six years instead of
the previously expected 11 years.
The funding program allows the state to borrow money
against the federal transportation dollars that come each year to pay for
construction. The sale is based on the assumption that federal funding in
future years would pay off the bonds. This allows the state to get money needed
for the project up front.
federal agency’s OK allows the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to
move forward on final design planning on the project and right-of-way
acquisitions along the 19.8-mile corridor between the Massachusetts border and
the I-93, I-294 and state Route 101 in Manchester.
project calls for the reconstruction and reconfiguration of five interchanges
and the replacement or refurbishment of 40 bridges, as well as adding
additional park and ride facilities and preserving space in the median for
potential future light rail or transit opportunities.