Meredith picks bypass lane for Chase Road & Rte. 104 intersection upgrade

MEREDITH — The Board of Selectmen this week unanimously agreed to proceed with a plan to improve safety on Rte. 104 at its intersections with Chase Road and Meredith Center Road proposed by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT).

Jon Hebert, a design engineer with DOT, presented two options for managing eastbound traffic on Rte. 104 making turns on to Chase Road, the first a dedicated left-turn lane of 300 feet and the second a lane allowing through-traffic to bypass turning vehicles. In addition, the entrance to Chase Road would be reconfigured to ease the flow traffic turning in and out of the road.

Hebert said that adding a left-turn lane could encounter right-of-way issues, which would likely delay the project, while a bypass lane would be simpler and less expensive to construct. In approving the project, the Selectboard opted for the bypass lane.

At the intersection with Meredith Center Road the eastbound lane of Rte. 104 would be realigned to improve the sight line for motorists turning on to the highway.

The proposal followed a safety audit undertaken by DOT in partnership with the Lakes Region Planning Commission and the town. Hebert expected the project would be put out to bid in September 2014 with work to begin in September 2015. When Selectman Herb Vadney asked if work could be completed before the volume of traffic mounted in the summer, Hebert replied that it was reasonable to expect that work would be completed before July 4.