I-93 expansion - On the fast track

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For decades, plans to expand I-93 going through Concord have been on the books, only to be postponed due to limited funds and shifting transportation priorities. With the recent influx of federal infrastructure dollars, planning and design for this project has been greatly accelerated.

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors was honored to receive a preview of this project at a special meeting on August 9. Thank you to New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT), the City of Concord, and Cleveland Waters and Bass, PA for hosting this session, which allowed the Chamber to share their goals for this major development and ask questions before these plans were released to the public. You can watch a similar presentation to the City of Concord’s Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), recorded by ConcordTV, Your Community Media Center, online at bit.ly/TPACMeetingAugust2022.

The DOT encourages businesses to stay informed and involved in this project, and share feedback during a short comment period—starting now. After receiving feedback during this stage, DOT will present to the Concord City Council and the town of Bow in the early fall. Permitting will begin this year, and bridge improvements will begin soon (there are four red listed bridges within this project’s boundaries). Major construction is slated to start in 2026.

The project includes improvements from Exit 1 on I-89 through I-93 North just past Exit 15, and extends down I-393 through Exit 1. The current plan pays particular attention to the many interchanges from Exit 12 through Exit 15. There are several dangerous “bob and weave” situations when entering or exiting I-93. The highway itself will go from four lanes to six lanes with improved feeder lanes at the interchanges.

Over the decades, the City of Concord, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and others in the community have brainstormed how to design this project to meet the transportation demands (we’ve all seen the backups going through Concord at peak periods), while also meeting some of Concord’s needs. The DOT has been able to address several of the city’s concerns. These include:

  • Relocation of the rail line going north of Storrs Street. This will allow for Storrs Street to be extended north to Constitution Avenue (Horseshoe Pond) which opens up significant redevelopment opportunities for the city.
  • Advancing the Merrimack River Greenway Trail through downtown, connecting the southern portion with the northern piece in Concord.
  • Improved bicycle and pedestrian access over the river.

Improvements to Manchester Street and Loudon Road where back-ups regularly occur.

The Chamber has consistently weighed in on two significant issues. These include:

  • Meaningful access to the Merrimack River from downtown Concord.
  • Improving Concord’s image from I-93, making the city a more attractive stop for visitors.

There are still many details that need to be ironed out. As this project progresses, DOT and the City of Concord will host public meetings for community input. The Chamber will continue to stay engaged, advocating for businesses and community members who will be impacted by this project. One of our goals is to keep our members informed. You can learn more by monitoring the project website i93bowconcord.com (which we hope will be updated shortly with the latest developments).

The Chamber’s doors are always open; feel free to talk to them about this project, and they will direct you to the proper contacts at DOT to voice your concerns. You can reach the Chamber at info@concordnhchamber.com, call (603) 224-2508 or visit the office at 49 South Main Street in Concord.

This major development will reshape Concord and impact the city for decades. The Chamber is excited to help businesses be a part of this planning process, and help key leaders make decisions that will make a lasting mark on New Hampshire’s capital city.

Incorporated in 1919, New Hampshire's state capital chamber of commerce—the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce—develops economic opportunities, strengthens the business climate and enhances quality of life in the Capital region.

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