LACONIA — Without debate, the City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the expenditure of $3,315 to erect signage marking Court Street and Union Avenue, from one end of the city to the other, as U.S. Business Rte. 3.
Charlie St. Clair, who has sought to add the signage since the 1990s, renewed his efforts earlier this year, reminding the council that prior to the construction of the U.S. Rte. 3 and N.H. Rte. 11 Bypass this stretch of roadway was designated as U.S. Route 3 but ever since has been designated as N.H. Rte 11-A and N.H. Rte. 107. He contends that visitors unfamiliar with the area would be more likely to travel into the city knowing that they would ultimately be routed back to U.S .Route 3. Motorists are directed to business route in other parts of the country and the state, he said, particularly where bypasses circumventing downtowns have been constructed.
Google Maps continues to refer to Court Street and Union Ave. as U.S. Business Rte. 3.
Authority over signage within the so-called "urban compact zone," the area where the city maintains, manages and polices state highways, rests with the city. The signs would be erected at seven intersections along the corridor defined by Court Street and Union Avenue between the Belmont town line near the entrance to the bypass to the east and McInyre Circle, where Union Avenue, Lake Street and Lakeshore Road intersect at the Gilford town line, to the north.
Paul Moynihan, director of public works, has recommended that 13 Business Rte. 3 signs, 13 black and white arrows, 12 north-south signs and 13 sign posts will be required to mark the route at an estimated cost of $3,315. In addition, Moynihan estimated the in-house labor cost of erecting the signs at $1,200, bringing the total cost of the project to $4,515.
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