Council approves berm near Merrimack bridge

Residents in Merrimack living next to the Merrill’s Marauders Bridge on the F.E. Everett Turnpike will be getting a state-built noise barrier in the coming months.

The Executive Council on Wednesday approved giving the company rebuilding the turnpike bridge – R.S. Audley Inc. of Bow – a $530,000 increase in its budget to build 18-foot-high, earth berm stretching for 1,850 foot along Hill Crest Drive.

Merrimack legislators had proposed a bill to construct a retaining wall for the neighborhood, but state transportation officials in late February conceded the project should have included this feature.

Transportation Commissioner George Campbell said project designers failed to realize that rebuilding the bridge and future plans to widen the turnpike in this area would expose homes to loud highway noise.

The money will pay for removing trees in the project’s right of way, building the earth berm, installing draining and some landscaping, Campbell said.