BELMONT — N.H. Department of Transportation Asst. Director William Cass told selectmen yesterday that the entire stretch of Rte. 106 between Perkins Road and the Laconia "urban compact zone" or where the city takes over road maintenance and plowing will be rebuilt next year.
Cass told the board members, who had gathered at the intersection of Brown Hill Road and Rte. 106 with District 7 State Sen. Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) and local police, that the shim coat laid on the road earlier this summer was to "get the road through the winter."
He said the bids are scheduled to go out in March, with a summer construction season and a fall completing time. Cass added that there are two sections of that stretch of road that were rebuilt in the late 1990s and those will get an overlay.
"I'm really glad the deputy commissioner came out," said Hosmer who had been contacted by Belmont officials about the safety hazards at the Brown Hill Road intersection.
"We need these roads improved for safety and our economy," Hosmer continued. "I will be keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get pushed to the back burner."
Belmont selectmen became acutely aware of the problem at the Brown Hill Road intersection earlier this summer when they learned that the DOT was planning on building a fuel depot on state land at the intersection. After listening to the concerns of the town about the location and the condition of the road, the DOT withdrew that plan.
In addition, Laconia officials met in 2014 with former DOT Commissioner Chris Clement about some of the roads outside its urban compact zone and included Rte 106 into Belmont as one of its priority concerns.
Selectman Jon Pike has long contended that the intersection at Brown Hill Road is almost as dangerous as the intersection at Seavey Road and that the entire section of Rte. 106, especially that section that runs from Seavey Road through to Wildlife Boulevard and Perkins Road has been ignored in recent years by the DOT.
Police Lt. Rich Mann said making a turn on Brown Hill Road or exiting from it to Rte. 106 is problematic because of the heavy volume of traffic, the speed of the traffic and sight line difficulties from the south near Wildlife Boulevard.
Cass said there is federal money available for the project so it is not as dependent on the state budget as other state highway projects can be.
CUTLINE: Selectman Jon Pike talks about the intersection of Brown Hill Road and Rte. 106 with N.H. DOT Deputy Commissioner William Cass during a site visit yesterday afternoon. From left to right are Sen. Andrew Hosmer, Selectman Ron Cormier, Selectman Ruth Mooney, DOT engineer Toby Reynolds, Pike, and Cass. Behind them is Belmont Highway Director Jim Fortin. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)