Gas mains in the way of Lowell Road widening

HUDSON – Delays in moving gas mains could affect the schedule for the Lowell Road widening project.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved Tuesday sending a letter to KeySpan asking the company to move up work on relocating its gas mains along Lowell Road.

According to Town Engineer Tom Sommers, the state Department of Transportation recently notified the town that KeySpan may not be able to move the mains until next spring.

That could delay the widening project, Sommers told the selectmen.

The DOT is expanding the two-lane Lowell Road to five lanes, with two lanes on each side and a center turning lane. The section being widened is about 4,300 feet long and starts at the intersection of Lowell and Wason roads and ends north of Executive Drive.

As part of the project several utilities including phone and cable lines are being moved. Gas mains are also being moved farther back from the roadway.

Any delay in moving utilities could affect the whole project, Sommers noted.

“Utility relocation not completed by early March 2004 will certainly delay the contractor’s intent to be in full operation on this project and will have a significant impact on the construction schedule of the Lowell Road project,” a draft letter to KeySpan reads.

The state is concerned about moving the project forward, Sommers said outside of the meeting.

Work can be done during the cold weather, he noted.

“Every week we’re delayed, means the project has been delayed,” he said.

Work has been completed on the project, such as some utility relocation. The state recently completed remediation for asbestos found near the roadway.

It is not uncommon to find asbestos in the greater Nashua area.

Many sites in Nashua and Hudson have asbestos that traces to a now-defunct Nashua company, Johns-Manville, which distributed asbestos as landfill material.