Economic study of parkway rejected

NASHUA – It was clear that a proposed economic feasibility analysis of the Broad Street Parkway was in trouble Tuesday when one of the resolution’s sponsors spoke out against it at a board of aldermen meeting.

Alderman-at-Large Benjamin Clemons said he became convinced that the analysis wasn’t needed because a “conservative” constituent explained that it would only show no economic benefit for several years into the bond, which is true of all highway projects, Clemons said.

Clemons went from being a co-sponsor of the legislation to one of nine aldermen who voted against the analysis, which was defeated 9-5. Ward 2 Alderman Richard LaRose was absent from the meeting.

But Clemons noted that it’s a different question whether the parkway will be built.

Clemons also said that he recently visited Florida, where roads are constantly being built and new development is springing up alongside them.

“It’s just common sense that if we build a road, something is going to be developed along it,” Clemons said.

Alderman-at-Large Fred Teeboom, who also voted against the study, said the analysis could delay the parkway for a year, increasing its cost by $3 million in inflation. It’s time for the aldermen to approve or kill the parkway “and be done with it,” Teeboom said.

That vote may happen in two weeks.

Aldermen on Sept. 23 are expected to vote on whether to borrow up to $37.6 million to build the parkway, which would connect the downtown area near Pine Street Extension with Broad Street near Exit 6 of the F.E. Everett Turnpike, crossing the Nashua River near the Millyard Technology Park along the way.

On Tuesday, Alderman-at-Large David Deane made the motion for the analysis. Aldermen Paul Chasse, Dave MacLaughlin, Mark Cookson and Richard Flynn joined Deane in supporting the resolution.

In the public comment period before the meeting, several parkway opponents spoke in favor of the economic feasibility study.

Robert Sullivan, of 12 Stonybrook Road, echoed words that Mayor Donnalee Lozeau had used in her campaign.

“Need it. Gotta have it,” Sullivan said of the feasibility analysis.

Lozeau had used the same phrase when speaking of building the Broad Street Parkway.

After the resolution’s defeat, the board cast voice votes for indefinite postponement, essentially killing it.