Manchester Select Board approves Depot St. redesign concept


MANCHESTER — The Select Board unanimously agreed on an initial design plan for the redesign of Depot Street during its meeting Tuesday night.

In the chosen option, one of six presented, there will be bike lanes, left turn lanes and green space on one side of the road.

The design was settled on after a number of outreach efforts to the neighborhood and community during which all six proposals were considered.

According to Corey Mack, project engineer for design firm RSG, the middle lane will disappear, replaced by textured, elevated asphalt unless it is a designated turn lane.

The strip of green space will be big enough to plant trees, Mack said. This design maintains emergency-vehicle access, reduces vehicle speeds with narrower lanes, and provides 5-foot bike lanes on both sides, with left turn lanes in logical locations.

"There will be more crosswalks," he added. "And the green strip really softens up that area. I think in the end people are going to love it, similar to what happened with the roundabout."

An estimated cost of $1 million for the project would be reduced with a $580,000 grant, other grant funding to provide period street lights and storm water treatment upgrades, and by the state handling the paving of the roadway, a savings of roughly $300,000.

Board chairman Ivan Beattie said the plan is a good one.

"I am pleased to see where we've landed," he said. I think it really makes sense."

In other business, the board unanimously supported the efforts of a local Boy Scout to build exercise stations along the walking trail at Rec Park.

Nick Williams, a senior at Burr & Burton Academy, said that as his Eagle project, he wanted to install four exercise stations such as pull-up bars and sit-up stations every quarter mile along the trail, with other stations installed at some future date as an Eagle project for another Boy Scout.

"This would be good for the community and good for public fitness because it would be there for everyone to use," Williams said.

Williams had to get permission of the select board before going to the Scouts for further approvals of the project. The materials would be funded by donations, he said, and he hopes to have it completed this fall.

The select board was supportive of his efforts.

"I'm really excited we've had so many Boy Scout projects this year," Beattie said. "And this is a pretty aggressive project."


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