Based on an evaluation of the Reasonable Range of Alternatives for the project and on input from state and federal agencies and potentially affected corridor communities, and with more than 50 meetings having been held, the NHDOT and FHWA identified a Selected Alternative. Feedback from the local communities suggested that NHDOT should 1) construct four lanes in each direction, and not three, the entire length of the corridor from Salem to Manchester; 2) minimize impacts to private properties; 3) construct sound walls; and 4) begin construction as soon as possible.
NHDOT's Selected Alternative, as detailed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), involves a combination of transportation infrastructure improvements and strategies for the 19.8-mile corridor study. The main element of the improvement involves widening I-93 from the existing limited access two-lane highway in each direction to a limited access four-lane highway in each direction. The Four-Lane Selected Alternative begins in the Town of Salem, NH at the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Stateline and extends northerly through Salem, Windham, Derry and Londonderry, and into Manchester, ending at the I-93/I-293 interchange (corridor map).
The Selected Four-Lane Alternative will accommodate space for a potential future rail corridor or other mass transit opportunity between the MA/NH Stateline northerly to the Exit 5 Interchange. Please see the Proposed Typical Section. The potential light rail line within the highway corridor could be a link in a future rail system providing rail service between Lawrence or Woburn, MA (and ultimately Boston) to the south and the Manchester Airport and/or the City of Manchester, NH to the north.
In addition to the overall corridor highway improvements, two new park-and-ride lots have been added and bus service facilities have been constructed at Exits 2 and 5. Improvements were made to the existing park-and-ride facility at Exit 4 and a new bus terminal opened there in May 2007. Future plans include an upgraded park-and-ride at Exit 3. Click here for more information on park-and-ride and bus service facilities.
Early construction of the park-and-ride facilities at Exits 2 and 5 plus the implementation of expanded bus services were proposed in advance of the mainline highway widening work to provide options for commuters seeking alternatives during construction. Expanded bus services began in November 2008 with additional roundtrips from Exits 2 and 5, as well as service at Exit 4. The park-and-ride facilities also make it easier to participate in a ride-sharing program, such as vanpooling or carpooling.
Intelligent Transportation System technologies and Incident Management strategies are integral parts of the overall transportation improvement strategy for the I-93 corridor. The Department has already implemented some of these measures such as variable message boards, highway advisory radio broadcasts, web site information, automatic email updates, emergency reference markers, and coordination strategies among safety agencies. Additional measures will be added when the highway widening is completed.
Construction of the proposed modifications to the I-93 corridor and the implementation of the above described transportation strategies are improving overall transportation efficiency within the 19.8-mile corridor. By modernizing the highway and increasing its capacity, mobility will be improved and congestion minimized, resulting in a more efficient transportation corridor and improved safety.
The Record of Decision (ROD) is a document prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that presents the basis for selecting and approving the specific alternative that was evaluated through the various environmental and engineering studies of the Transportation Project Development Process. The Record of Decision identifies the alternative selected in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), other alternatives considered, measures to be taken to minimize harm, monitoring or enforcement programs, and an itemized list of commitments and mitigation measures. To view or download a copy of the ROD, please click here (2.2MB PDF file).
On September 22, 2010 New Hampshire Governor John Lynch and State Transportation Commissioner George Campbell announced that the State of New Hampshire has received final approval from the Federal Highway Administration to continue with the rebuilding and widening of a 19.8-mile section of Interstate 93 between Salem and Manchester. This final approval, in the form of a Supplemental Record of Decision (SROD) upholds the 2005 Record of Decision (see above) that concluded, "the Four Lane Alternative is the Environmentally Preferred Alternative since it best balances the need to provide safe and efficient transportation with social, economic, and natural environment concerns." To view or download a copy of the SROD, please click here (7.4MB PDF file).