Bridge projects to impact traffic on Route 101/202 in Peterborough

  • The Main Street bridge in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/13/2019 7:55:54 PM

This summer, traffic re-directed to avoid a bridge repair on Route 9 in Sullivan is expected to come down Route 101 and 202, adding to traffic on two of Peterborough’s most highly traveled roads.

“There will be more heavy truck traffic coming,” Bill Boynton, information officer for the state’s Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

The traffic through Peterborough is coming from a New Hampshire DOT project to replace the Route 9 bridge over Otter Brook in Sullivan. A local detour is planned, however, the route isn’t wide enough for larger vehicles, such as large trucks, trailers or motorhomes, Boynton said.

“The local detour is narrow and has a very tight jughandle corner, and bigger trucks and trailers would not be able to get through there,” Boynton said. “It could be a real bottleneck.”

Those vehicles too large for the local detour are planned to be directed to Route 202 in Hillsborough, to Route 101 in Peterborough and west to Keene for westbound traffic, and Route 101 in Keene to Route 202 in Peterborough to Route 9 in Hillsborough for eastbound traffic.

The Route 9 reconstruction is expected to span from April to October.

According to DOT tracking, in 2014, the most recent year available, about 7,300 vehicles traveled through Sullivan on Route 9. How much of that number is local traffic and how much is through trucking is not tracked.

Route 101, at Dublin Road west of Grove Street, the Department of Transportation recorded 9,200 vehicles in 2015, the most recent data available. Route 202, at the Route 101 intersection, recorded 15,000 in 2014.

It’s not clear how much the extra traffic will compound traffic re-routed from the closing of Peterborough’s Main Street bridge. The Main Street project is locally managed but will receive 80 percent of its funding from the DOT’s state bridge aid program.

Boynton said the Main Street bridge project is to be advertised and put out to bid in April. The project doesn’t have a set start time, but it could begin as soon as a few weeks after the bid was awarded, he said.

Peterborough voters approved funding for the bridge reconstruction during Town Meeting in May, approving bonding $1.19 million for the project. The state will be contributing a further $4.78 million, for a total cost of $5.97 million.

The Main Street bridge project has been estimated to take about 18 months to complete and will be closed for the duration, cutting off access to the Peterborough downtown from the Route 202 and Pine Street entrance.

Both bridge projects are expected to be complete by 2021, the same year Boynton said another DOT bridge project is set to begin in Peterborough – a reconstruction of the bridge at the intersection of Route 101 and Route 202/Granite Street.

“That project would definitely happen after the Main Street bridge project,” Peterborough Selectwoman Barbara Miller said. “We were very concerned about the impact of that.”

“Basically, the Route 101 project and Main Street project will not be overlapping at all,” Boynton said. “You will not have a restriction on both Route 101 and Main Street at the same time.”

The Route 101 project will be bid in October of this year, but won’t start until at least 2021, Boynton said.

The Route 101/202 bridge repair project will take about two years, but during construction, the roadway will remain open, either as one lane of traffic or two depending on the phase of the project, Boynton said.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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