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Collaborative Regional Transportation Planning

May 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) in conjunction with the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG) has received federal funding through the Transportation, Community and Systems Preservation Program (TCSP) to conduct a study assessing the effectiveness of a south bound off-ramp at exit 36 on the F.E. Everett Turnpike, near the New Hampshire and Massachusetts border.  The study will evaluate traffic flows and potential economic benefits to businesses in the area and will ultimately complete planning analyses in support of the development of a southbound off ramp on US Route 3 at Exit 36 in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. 

The Exit 36 South project, located at the border of Nashua, New Hampshire and Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, has long been identified as a transportation priority in the region. Partners on the project include the Nashua Regional Planning Commission, the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments, the City of Nashua, the Town of Tyngsborough, both the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Departments of Transportation and business owners in the immediate area.  The project has been included in the NRPC Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for many years and the Northern Middlesex Region’s recently updated 2012 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).  For both the project is widely accepted as having significant benefit to the two regions for a relatively small investment.  The project was also recommended as part of the Daniel Webster Highway and Spit Brook Road Corridor Study completed in 2002.  Most recently, the City of Nashua Transportation Task Force included Exit 36 Southbound (Exit 36S) in its report to the Mayor as a high priority project for the City, citing congestion relief and economic development opportunities to the City. 

This important project will help reduce traffic congestion, promote economic development and provide enhanced access to alternative modes of transportation. Moreover, planners will assess the feasibility of an intermodal facility at the state border as part of the project.  The Exit 36 Southbound Planning Study has several desired outcomes that address livability and integrate transportation, community and system preservation plans and practices.  The goals of this project, which are consistent with the project selection criteria, include:

  • Improve the operation of the major roads in the vicinity of the proposed Exit 36 Southbound;
  • Create safer roads for all modes of transportation;
  • Provide efficient access to services and local and regional job centers;
  • Generate opportunities for sustainable growth and economic development;
  • Support existing, and initiate new opportunities for innovative financing and public/private partnerships; and
  • Develop a plan for mitigating traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation sector.

The final product will be a planning study report which summarizes data collection efforts and analyzes traffic operations and impacts, transit system improvements, pedestrian and bicycling issues, and opportunities to improve economic competitiveness.  A land use analysis will result in recommendations that will foster a more sustainable future for the residents and businesses in the study area.

To find out more, visit:

Tags: Regional Planning NRPC Transportation
Category: Nashua Regional Planning Commission

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