What’s next with the Downtown Infrastructure Improvement & Reconstruction Project?
In July of 2023, the City Council adopted the Multilane Hybrid concept for the Downtown Infrastructure Project that will replace aging underground infrastructure below roadways and sidewalks. The project is now in the preliminary design phase. This includes preparation of Federal grant applications as well as development of the detailed plans required to apply for environmental permits. There will be multiple opportunities for community engagement.
This phase of the project includes:
- Prepare competitive grant applications including the federal RAISE grant (www.transportation.gov/RAISEgrants). This is a significant effort that will include a benefit-cost analysis including detailed environmental, traffic, safety, economic development, and other considerations. Applications are due in late February, and awards are expected to be announced in June.
- Produce construction plans of a sufficient level of detail required by regulatory agencies for permit applications. This will include meeting with agency representatives to get feedback on project scope, intent, and potential impacts to ensure all the information required to complete permit applications is included.
- Collect data as required for NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act). This includes a significant amount of environmental work to collect data on and evaluate potential impacts to ground water, surface water, wetlands, invasive species, archaeological & historical resources, air quality, and more.
- Conduct additional investigations such as geotechnical borings to provide important data needed to design stormwater infiltration measures, determine how much of the soil to be excavated is not suitable for reuse, etc.
- Refine horizontal and vertical geometry of the individual underground utilities to create specific plans for the exact placement of replacement infrastructure. This will include video inspections and other utility location measures to accurately locate existing underground utilities.
- Evaluate and identify specific plans for the adopted Multilane Hybrid concept resources such as curbing, crosswalks, surface materials, parking space alignments, landscape islands, lighting, a thriving tree canopy, bike lane buffers, and more.
This preliminary design work is expected to be completed by the end of this summer (2024).
There will be multiple opportunities for public involvement including City Council MSFI Committee meetings (including the 1/24/2024 MSFI Committee meeting for a project schedule review) as well as public workshops. Follow the City meetings calendar at www.KeeneNH.gov/calendar and subscribe to our general meeting notices email listserv at www.KeeneNH.gov/subscribe.
Project information, timeline, and documents will be posted on the City website at www.KeeneNH.gov/downtown.