It has come to our attention that the State is fast tracking its proposed I-93 Bow/Concord highway expansion project for a start date of 2026, due to federal infrastructure funds being released. NHDOT intends to finalize plans by the end of this year. The City Council will take the issue up this fall. Unless the Concord community takes action now Concord will permanently lose the ability to improve east/west connectivity and to create access to the river from downtown.
Please JOIN US on Tuesday, August 9th at 6:30 at the special Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) meeting to hear from NHDOT who will present six project design plans for the highway expansion. The meeting will be held at City Council Chambers, 37 Green Street. There will be opportunities for questions and comment.
RSVP for Tuesday's special TPAC meeting here so we know you're coming!
At the last major public hearing several years ago, residents made it clear that the state needed to take care to create a redesign that would benefit Concord. Currently, I-93 creates an east/west divide of our great city and its resources, and blocks downtown from the river. Expanding the highway to the proposed 6-8 lanes will dramatically increase this divide unless done with intention and care, which demands strong community input from individuals like YOU!
Questions for to ponder as you generate your own:
What will the highway expansion accomplish and why is it necessary? Can you tell us about the traffic study?
Have you looked at other ways to increase capacity without highway expansion - train, light rail, autonomous driving?
What is the possible use of funds received by NHDOT? Can the funding be used for rail instead of more highway? Can it be used for landscaping and streetscaping? What are the limitations?
Inevitably if you relieve traffic through Concord (on Fridays and Sundays when there is traffic) a bottleneck will still develop elsewhere along the highway - what's your plan then?
When is the public hearing for this project?
How will you be sure to engage Concord residents?
Are you aware that the existing highway divides Concord's resources east by west and that expansion threatens to deepen that divide? What care have you taken to improve connectivity and equity?
Concord is a town with two halves that should be brought together by a common resource: the river. Currently the highway pushes everyone away from the river - how is the I-93 project going to draw the city closer together by opening the river as a gathering place?
Can the highway be buried? Are you aware that a platform parkway would transform Concord in all the right ways? Do you have a "lid/deck/cap/platform parkway" in one of your proposed plans? If no, why not?
What is the timeframe of the build? How long will construction take? How long will we be cut off from the other side of the highway?
Are businesses aware that they will be cut off from the other side of the highway for that time? How can you ensure businesses on the east side won’t be cut off from half the population of Concord?
What considerations have been given to mass transit within Concord? Meaning what is being done to keep local traffic off of the interstate in order to reduce congestion on I-93?
What will happen to our homeless population during construction? How will NHDOT help individuals who will be displaced?
What's happening with the train track? How will the expansion affect the possibility of a train from Boston to Concord?
How will economic justice be done with the "stroad" conditions on Loudon Rd and Fort Eddy?
Are you aware that in order to get from the east side to the west side of our city we have to go through a highway interchange or be on I-393 itself? All three of these access points by foot or bike are dangerous, highly unpleasant experiences increasing car usage.
Are you aware that Concord already has a local pedestrian overpass over the freeway that is unsafe, difficult to use and far better, shorter and less steep than what you proposed in 2019? Why would we want the same, yet worse, concept for our city?
Questions about the DESIGN CONCEPTS:
Show me how pedestrians & non-motorized vehicles (including wheelchairs) access the river from downtown? How long does it take? How steep is it? Can you explain what the experience would be like for a pedestrian or cyclist? What’s the view like? What’s the airflow like? Can you compare this experience to our existing underpass/overpass experience? What is the experience like in the winter when it’s icy? What is it like when it’s 100 degrees out? What do I hear? What do I see? What does it smell like? Are there cars near me? Do I feel safe? Can my 11 year old child ride their bike across without me worrying? Is there a barrier between bikes and cars? What am I enjoying and what is completely unpleasant?
Similarly, can you apply the questions above to accessing the west side from the east side of the highway?
Show me the bypass lane/express lane on the highway? How much more width is created?
Show me the light rail running up the middle of the highway?
Show me how native trees and shrubs are incorporated into the design?
Show me the beautiful architecture and care in detail in the streetscaping?
How does this connect Concord’s green spaces?
How does the plan incorporate green spaces?
What are your questions and concerns? Show up at the TPAC meeting and be heard! Plus, join the conversation by joining the Concord Greenspace Facebook group.
The Concord Greenspace Coalition