To The Daily Sun,
What is the connection between Meredith underground, town utilities, additional maintenance requirements and emergency response in relation to the three proposed roundabouts in our Meredith Village?
Major water and sewer lines run along U.S. 3 and Route 25 and through the Route 3/25 intersection. Telephone (FairPoint) is on the north side of Route 25 and runs on top of the sewer. It restricts access to sewer.
The town indicates it is a decade away from major work on the water and sewer in this area and is just starting an inflow and infiltration (INI) evaluation now. Town has had to make repairs near the 3/25 intersection several times over the last few years to fix breaks and address other issues. John Butler (of the NHDOT) explained that impacts to the underground utilities will be avoided wherever possible. Unavoidable impacts to the town utilities will require town funding for any necessary relocations. We the taxpayers do not want our taxes to rise. Families are stressed enough due to Obamacare. Less working hours means less income. High food prices continue to rise. Our economy is weak and their is a recession on the horizon.
The sewer manhole in the center of intersection is the hub that connects the four trunk lines. This structure provides access to these lines for clean-out, which occurs several times a year, especially during summer months. A truck and trailer mounted jet unit must be set up near this structure during cleaning operations. This manhole would be on the edge of the proposed roundabout truck apron. Town is concerned that access for clean-out will be difficult.
Town also indicated their are poor soils under the road. When they excavated Route 25 just East of Route 3 for a sewer repair, the existing soils had to be taken to an incinerator because they were oil-laden.
Ownership of the Lakes Region Sewer Line is still in question. Exiting crossover valve cluster is located in the existing triangular island and will be within the proposed roundabout apron on future design.
Town DPW is concerned with installing landscaping in the median islands because it presents future maintenance issues. They are concerned the grass and trees will die because of the salt. The town would be required to sign a maintenance agreement similar to a sidewalk maintenance agreement. Here is a string of the federal government attached to our town.
DPW is concerned with exiting drainage facilities that fail because of silt or because they are underwater. There have been instances where the Route 3/25 intersection has several inches of standing water.
The next problem relates to emergency services.
Concerned that the roundabouts at Lake Street and Pleasant Street will increase response time along Route 3 North and Route 25, both for volunteers coming to the fire station and then responding to an incident from the fire station. This fact will open up questions of patient care and will open up the town to lawsuits.
Fire trucks will need to slow down at Pleasant Street and will have difficulty speeding back up to climb the hill on Route 25.
Concerned with curbing at roundabouts and potential to cut tires. The 3/106 roundabout has had numerous accidents with this problem. I was talking to a man from Pease Road and he voiced displeasure with this roundabout because all the large trucks avoid the roundabout because it is too small for big trucks and the damage to tires. They consistently use Pease Road to avoid the roundabout. Will the large trucks coming through the 3/25 roundabout, use Main Street in Meredith to avoid this same issue?
Chief Jones is concerned that they are losing access to Dover Street and that Lake Street may be restricted due to the size of the roundabout. Gene McCarthy stated that "the Lake Street roundabout was not designed to accommodate ladder truck access to Lake Street." Here is the qualifier used: "However he felt the roundabout could be revised to accommodate this movement. Qualifier is an adverb or adjective, that qualifies or limits the meaning of another. What exactly does this mean?
Concerned with the access to fire hydrants because of the median islands. Additional fire hydrants on north and south side of the road. Who pays for this? Chief Jones would like a mounted median between intersections so they can cross as needed. Who pays for this?
The possibility to install a dry hydrant and water pipe under Route 3 at Hesky Park was discussed in order to get water on west side of the road without running hoses over Route 3. Who pays for this?
The chief is also concerned with access to the fire station and wants to know if it would be possible to get an emergency signal on Route 3. The ladder truck can only access the station by heading north on Route 3 and backing into its bay. Many instances of vehicles trying to pass the ladder truck as it backs into the station.
There are numerous dangers that will develop from these roundabouts after the fact. Recently I clocked the distance from Lake Street to Pleasant Street and the mileage was 0.3 mile. A very small area to be building three roundabouts, I am concerned with a life being lost because of the decrease in time responding to emergencies. Our town should be concerned also.
Visit the Meredith Library for details and literature.