Is the Safety of Bicyclists Worth $44 Million? NH Says Yes

NEWINGTON - If you live on the Seacoast and travel the Spaulding Turnpike, you know all too well about the widening project that is expected to be wrapped up by 2020.

The main objectives of the 10- year project includes new travel lanes, re-working of Exit 6 at the Route 4 interchange, and possibly eliminating the Dover toll booth to make way for open-road tolling.

Plans also call for something to be done with the rusting remains of the 83-year-old General Sullivan Bridge that sits alongside the newer Little Bay Bridge.

State transportation officials met with curious residents Tuesday night in Dover and while many showed up to hear about the toll booth proposal, quite a few people were concerned about the fate of the bridge that was once the only way for traffic to cross from Newington to Dover.

The state earmarked $43.9 million for a complete rehab of the quarter-mile-long bridge for bike and pedestrian access. To reduce that cost, the state is also considering removing the structure and using the existing base pilings in the water to build a smaller bridge, or tearing the whole thing down and adding a bike path to the side of the Little Bay Bridge.

State DOT officials will hold a few more rounds of forums looking for feedback from the public before settling on a final use plan for the General Sullivan. Construction is planned to begin in the summer of 2019.