New Hampshire route 12 between Walpole and Charlestown is squeezed between the Connecticut River and the active New England Central rail line. The roadway’s aging infrastructure presented serious and unique safety concerns. The instability of the bank of the Connecticut River was an immediate safety and environmental concern that threatened the roadway and the regional economy. Poor pavement condition and lack of sufficient roadway drainage caused hazardous and unsafe driving conditions. This combination hindered the ability of vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians to safely travel the corridor, and detracts from residents’ ability to access the river and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Connecticut River Valley. The road was closed while NHDOT worked on a solution.
This $14.4 million project successfully reconstructed 2.7 miles of NH Route 12 between the two towns. The project widened the road by rebuilding the structural box materials and placing six inches of pavement. The road was widened to the west toward the Connecticut River and away from the New England Central Railroad. Additional work included the installation of underdrain, replacement of existing culverts under the roadway, and guardrail installation. Residents no longer have to worry about dangerous roadway conditions or shutting down this critical route for the local economy.