Corridor Studies examine a transportation corridor to identify the mix of transportation improvements that would be most effective in moving people and/or goods while balancing those improvement needs with community concerns and available funding. The RPC (and NHDOT) utilize corridor studies as sources of projects for the Long Range Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Plan while NHDOT utilizes these studies as sources of projects for the State Ten Year Plan.
US 1 Corridor Plan
The US 1 Corridor study was proposed in 2000 by the Route 1 Coastal Communities Corridor Advisory Committee (a subcommittee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization), and is intended to replace and improve upon the improvement plan completed for US 1 in 1989. The original plan, prepared for the NH DOT by the Kimball-Chase engineering firm, was a feasibility study examining the costs, benefits and impacts of implementing the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s “Route 1 Policy”. The Route 1 Policy had been developed a few years earlier by the Department and called for the ultimate improvement of US 1 to a five lane roadway along its entire length. This “ultimate design” would include two travel lanes in each direction with a raised median separating them. At signalized intersections there would be breaks in the median to allow left turns and give drivers the opportunity to reverse directions. This proposal was not well received by the communities due to the lack of local involvement in the development of the plan, the severe access restrictions, and the significant property impacts that widening the roadway would cause in many locations. Some components of the 1989 plan have been implemented as several intersections and road segments along the corridor have been improved based on designs from the earlier plan. This has primarily occurred in Seabrook and Portsmouth where much of Route 1 is built to five lanes although without the recommended medians.
The need for a new examination of Route 1 stems directly from the methods and outcomes of the 1989 study. That study had forecast conditions to the year 2000 which had come and gone without many of the recommendations being implemented, and with many of the assumptions about growth in traffic and the resultant conditions appearing to be significantly overstated. The ultimate purpose of this current work is to provide the US 1 communities, the Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC), and New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NH DOT) with a vision for the corridor that is based on updated assumptions about growth, and one that takes local concerns and needs into account in the design. This will benefit traffic and safety conditions, while better integrating Lafayette Road into the communities instead of serving as a dividing element. The recommendations included in this plan are intended to be used as a “blueprint” for the corridor and aid in making future land use and transportation decisions. The plan provides guidance to augment the planning processes, form, and function of the roadway and its surroundings. At the same time, it is expected that there will be some deviation from the recommendations as communities work with developers and the Department of Transportation to design specific projects for implementation.
The Strafford Regional Planning Commission secured funding and completed a two phase comprehensive Transportation and Land Use Study for the NH Route 125 Corridor funded through the State Planning and Research (SPR) program in 2008. This study included the RPC community of Epping and recommended a set of improvements to address transportation improvement needs along the corridor. Figures from the study can be found on the Strafford Regional Planning Commission Website.
Electronic versions of the study documents are not available however the RPC does have a copy of each of these studies available for review in the office.
NH 125 Plaistow-Kingston
The NH 125 Plaistow-Kingston study was completed in 1999 with the purpose of determining the existing and future needs of the NH 125 corridor in the communities of Plaistow and Kingston. The study provides and evaluation of existing conditions, the development of an interim improvement plan, the development and evaluation of a future design year condition, the development of a long-range corridor improvement plan, and the establishment of an access management plan.
This study was a comprehensive effort to understand the interrelationships between existing and future regulatory policies, land use, and traffic conditions as they relate to the physical roadway conditions of the NH Route 101 (Now NH 33) corridor. The report provides an ultimate build-out layout for the roadway from Greenland to Portsmouth.
US Route 1 Feasibility Study (1989)
The Study examined the feasibility of reconstructing US 1 through the six communities of Seabrook, Hampton Falls, Hampton, North Hampton, Rye, and Portsmouth within the proposed right-of-way guidelines outlined in the New Hampshire Department of Transportation “US Route 1 Department Policy” published in 1984. The report analyzed existing conditions developed expected future conditions, and recommended interim improvements to address capacity and safety deficiencies along the corridor. In addition, the study recommended an ultimate 4-5 lane typical cross-section for the roadway as part of the buildout needs for the corridor.