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Dec 19, 2015 10:35 PM

Nashua celebrates a new way to get downtown

NASHUA - More than 50 years in the making, city leaders celebrated a historic day Saturday as a new parkway opened that's expected to make it easier for drivers to get downtown.

Two cars, each headed in the opposite direction, broke the ribbon and marked the grand opening of the new Broad Street Parkway; a bridge that is nearly two-miles long connecting Broad Street to the intersection of Pine, Ledge and Center streets.

"We lived in Nashua for over twenty years" said former Nashua resident Karen Hatch. "I think just the fact they have an alternative method to get where they need to go within the city is long over-do".

The conversation about the bridge began over five decades ago "It was first talked about in the 1950's" said Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau. And the discussion and planning continued for years. "Every decade brought a different change".

The city broke ground in early 2010. The parkway is expected to alleviate congestion and to make the access to the downtown easier.

"It's going to take a lot of pressure off of Amherst Street and the Main Streets" said Lisa Fauteux, the city's director of public works.

Many feel it will draw more people to the area, including U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who sent a citation that was read by state Sen. Bette Lasky "It will help Nashua become a more pedestrian-friendly city, increasing foot traffic to businesses in and around the Millyard."

For downtown shops, the parkway opening comes just in time for the last of the holiday shopping season.

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