Thursday, October 2, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;55.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ovc.png;2014-10-02 08:21:21
Friday, January 25, 2013

Board approves upgrades for Nashua River Bridge, weighs ways to make Fairmount, Baldwin bridges neighborhood friendly

NASHUA – When the Broad Street Parkway is complete, pedestrians will be able to stroll across a new bridge over the Nashua River and stand at two outlooks for views of the historic waterway, and possibly the Millyard.

On Thursday, the Board of Public Works approved adding the bridge outlooks for $100,000 to an alternative Nashua River bridge design that will put out to bid as part of the future two-lane roadway. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

NASHUA – When the Broad Street Parkway is complete, pedestrians will be able to stroll across a new bridge over the Nashua River and stand at two outlooks for views of the historic waterway, and possibly the Millyard.

On Thursday, the Board of Public Works approved adding the bridge outlooks for $100,000 to an alternative Nashua River bridge design that will put out to bid as part of the future two-lane roadway.

The board also considered several ways to make the parkway’s two other bridges, at Fairmount and Baldwin Streets, more “neighborhood friendly,” but kept many of their aesthetic options open for alternative bids to come back with final design costs.

The city will construct three bridges as part of the Broad Street Parkway, which is expected to see its first motorists by the end of next year.

The standard Department of Transportation bridge over the Nashua River will cost $8.1 million alone, parkway project manager John Vancor said Thursday. Those over Fairmount and Baldwin streets will cost a combined $7 million.

Adding the upgrades increase those price tags – but the board agreed Thursday that spending a little more money to beautify the Nashua River bridge would be worth it.

Meanwhile, the board rejected spending $250,000 on haunched girders for the Nashua River bridge, choosing to keep them a standard straight design. It also chose not to use “wide pier infill” to make Fairmount Street and Baldwin Streets look less like a highway for about $360,000 more, and rejected concrete surface upgrades for another $400,000.

“If its $100,000 for two outlooks, I don’t think that’s an outrageous price,” Commissioner Tracy Pappas said. “But I look at some of these accouterments and I think some of these are an insult to the taxpayers when we’re going through this recession.”

Other aspects of the three bridges, alternative rails, lighting, and entryways, will be put out as bid alternatives to see what bidders bring back for costs.

“This is outside of somebody’s home,” said Lozeau, explaining the need to minimize the “highway” look on Baldwin and Fairmount Street.

Softening a highway does not come cheap, though. Earlier this month, aldermen and board of public works members met to go over $1.8 million worth of changes that could upgrade the Broad Street Parkway bridges’ look. The two boards will meet again before any more bridge decisions are made, Lozeau said.

The parkway is on time and under budget, Lozeau had said.

Still, Nashua resident Geoff Daly urged Lozeau to consider more cost savings, by inviting a composite bridge engineer to meet with the city, which could make more federal funds available for the roadway.

Composite beam bridges – a fairly new type of bridge construction that utilizes fiber reinforced polymer technology – are lighter weight and corrosion-resistant.

The Federal Highway Administration has made funds available for composite bridge construction through a program called “Highways For Life,” Daly said. The deadline for the funding is Jan. 31.

The firm the city has contracted to construct the parkway’s bridges, however, Fay, Spoffard & Throndike, determined that composite beams would be too expensive and inappropriate for the Broad Street Parkway.

The Broad Street Parkway is expected to cost about $68 million and is being paid for in part by federal money and in part by a $37.6 million bond the aldermen approved in 2008.

Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Gill on Twitter (@Telegraph_MAG).