The rebuilding plan for I-93 in Concord will move traffic through the city in an efficient and orderly way. But the current plan will do little to help the city grow or develop. Outside of New Hampshire, infrastructure is viewed through a wider lens. Rather than looking at a “road project,” DOT should be thinking about how could this economic development build a stronger community. By including few offerings for pedestrians, rail, future vehicles or urban planning, the current I-93 project is already a dinosaur. Look at how MASS DOT is carefully thinking through the urban impact of expanding the Mass Pike in Allston, being sure it will benefit the area. In Colorado, the state is planning a highway with energycoils to transmit power upwards to power trucks traveling in the dedicated energy-transfer lane.
But in NH, this project might benefit those speeding to skiing or lakes – but it will do little to support smart growth, investment or tourism in Concord. It has no new tech– just a better design and more asphalt. It still cuts the city off from its river, does not improve the view of the city, nor does it free up land for redevelopment. In 1978 this plan would have been forward thinking, but for 2019, it is dated - putting cars over people. Concord does a lot for this state; and the state could certainly do more for Concord.