Why not Concord?

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As you read this, plans to expand I-93 through Bow and Concord are being finalized. The goal of the NH Department of Transportation is moving the ever increasing volume of traffic more safely and smoothly through this congested section of the highway. There are also red listed bridges that need replacing and seven tricky interchanges that will be improved. The plan calls for two additional travel lanes and two additional “feeder” lanes. This is a complex project that is estimated to cost nearly $300,000,000 (probably conservative) with construction beginning in 2024, perhaps earlier. It’s a big deal.

The project also provides a big opportunity for the State Capital. If we are bold and creative, we can accomplish much more than improved traffic flow. We can address some of the sins of the past which cut off downtown Concord from the river, our greatest natural asset. We can create gateways to the City which invite travelers in rather than discourage visitor exploration of this charming capital city and its surrounding communities. Such improvements based on interstate expansions would not be unique to Concord. There are numerous examples across the country of how this has been done. Transportation planners and community leaders around the country are recognizing the legacy of such highways and residents are advocating for creative solutions to do more than increase vehicle capacity. Why not Concord?

The outcome of this project could be the most transformative development for the Capital Region we will see in our lifetime, and it could go either way. The stakes are high. The Chamber will keep this project front and center. Stay tuned!

Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Read his posts at ConcordNHChamber.com/blog .

More on proposed changes to I-93

Watch footage from our recent forum: " Concord's Opportunity Corridor - Proposed Changes to I-93 ,"  that includes Q&A from business and community leaders.

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