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City of Manchester Unveils Updated designs for the Granite Street Pedestrian Bridge

By Staff | Jun 3, 2023

The Granite Street Pedestrian Bridge, a component of RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities, has been designed to resemble the former Notre Dame Bridge. It spans Granite Street, with points of entry on Granite Street, Commercial Street and South Commercial Street. Updates to the design of this fully accessible bridge include wider, more gently sloping ramps and a wider bridge which can accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.

The city of Manchester has released new and improved designs for the proposed Granite Street Pedestrian Bridge, a component of the transportation infrastructure improvement project called RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities.

In response to input from residents, businesses and community groups, the city of Manchester made a number of improvements to the design of the pedestrian bridge since the plan was presented at the December 2022 public meeting at the Manchester City Library.

“The caliber of feedback we received has substantially improved the ways RAISE Manchester will help residents move about the Queen City,” said RAISE Manchester Project Manager Kristen Clarke, PE, PTOE, a traffic engineer for the Manchester Department of Public Works. “The updates made to the fully accessible Granite Street Pedestrian Bridge will increase safety and usability for pedestrians, bicyclists and automobile operators.”

The pedestrian bridge will be located just east of the Commercial Street and Granite Street intersection, allowing Fisher Cats fans a safe alternative to crossing via crosswalk to see a ball game at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, or for employees and students to make their way across Granite Street safely during rush hours, for example. The new design meets American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards and features longer, more gently sloping ramps eliminating the sharp turns in the original design.

Based on community feedback that the ramps were too narrow, the city of Manchester widened the ramps and the pedestrian bridge itself by two feet so that both are now 12 feet wide.

Cyclists will still have options to use the new bridge or to cross at street level using travel lanes. This on-street bicycle movement is also facilitated by the new video detection system which is under construction as part of the city’s Granite Street adaptive signals project at this intersection.

The Granite Street Pedestrian Bridge provides the following benefits:

Improves safety by elevating pedestrians crossing above seven lanes of dense urban traffic

Ensures safer access to major places of employment (SNHU/WMUR), events (Fisher Cats/SNHU Arena) and hotels (Hilton Garden Inn)

Accommodates increasing pedestrian traffic at this intersection (600 people crossing daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Features fully accessible ramp access

Improved signal operation at intersection of Granite and Commercial Streets

Reduces emissions from idling vehicles

In a nod to Manchester’s history – and at the recommendation of many workshop participants, civic and historical organizations – the Pedestrian Bridge and its arch structure are designed to resemble the former Notre Dame Bridge, an iconic, green-steel bridge that spanned the Merrimack River, connecting downtown to the West side from 1937 to 1989.

The city of Manchester is seeking public comment on a letter submitted to the Federal Highway Administration summarizing its intent for a de minimis impact determination for Gateway Park, located at the east corner of Commercial Street and Granite Street, which states that the new pedestrian bridge will not negatively affect the park.

This letter is also posted on RAISE Manchester’s website and the public is encouraged to read it and to submit questions and/or comments on or before June 8, 2023.

The RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities project includes three other major components; a new roadway and bridge that will extend from South Commercial Street behind the baseball stadium and over the active railroad to Elm Street, a new roadway extension on the opposite side of Elm Street from where the new bridge terminates at Gas Street that provides an alternative connection to South Willow Street via a new bridge over the abandoned railroad corridor and a new “peanut” roundabout to replace the signalized intersection at the Queen City Ave/South Willow Street intersection to improve traffic flow and safety.

The project will also make a number of improvements to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure along these corridors, as well as add critical connections to the city’s central rail trail network.

Additional updates will be shared as the project makes its way through the city, state and federal approval process.

For additional information about the RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities project, visit www.raisemanchester.org.


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