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MANCHESTER, NH – The city of Manchester announced Tuesday the release of refined designs for the proposed roadway and bridge known as the South Commercial Street Extension, a component of the federally-funded RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities transportation infrastructure improvement project.

The South Commercial Street Extension will create a new connection from Granite Street to Elm Street by crossing over the active rail corridor south of the Delta Dental Stadium. The alternative route will alleviate congestion during peak hours, improve emergency response times to the south Millyard and provide an alternative access point for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists attending events at Delta Dental Stadium and the Hilton Garden Inn.

Acknowledging the valuable input received from the public during a December 2022 public presentation and subsequent engagements with individuals, businesses and community groups, the city of Manchester has refined the design to better meet the community’s needs.

“South Commercial Street Extension is a critical element of the RAISE Manchester project, as it promises to connect the south Millyard with Elm Street and reduce traffic congestion, especially on Granite Street during peak hours or major events at the SNHU Arena and Delta Dental Stadium. The public input has been instrumental in enhancing its functionality,” said RAISE Manchester Project Manager Kristen Clarke, PE, PTOE, traffic engineer for the Manchester Department of Public Works. “The improvements made to this design prioritize safety and will make it more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate and share the travel way.”

Four Primary Projects

Map shows the four main components of the RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities project.

The updated design expands the pedestrian walkway from 8 feet to 12 feet wide for most of the bridge. The two-way shared-use path prioritizes safety and usability and is at least twice as wide as a typical sidewalk.

Along Riverwalk Way, the roadway will be re-aligned, and additional parking spaces will be located under the proposed bridge for Residences at Riverwalk apartment residents.

Pedestrian and bicycle traffic can utilize the signalized intersection at Elm Street that lines up with the shared-use path, allowing for direct access to the rail trail on the eastern side of Elm Street.

The South Commercial Street Extension provides the following benefits:

  • Reconnects east and west sides of rail line south of Granite Street with above-grade rail crossing
  • Multi-modal bridge with accommodations for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians
  • Reduces traffic congestion on Granite Street, including the I-293 interchange
  • Provides an alternative route for event goers heading to Delta Dental Stadium or guests of the Hilton Garden Inn
  • Reduces emergency response times for first responder access to the south Millyard (SNHU, Delta Dental Stadium, Residences at Riverwalk)
  • Greater access to transportation options for traditionally underserved communities
  • Enhances value of underutilized parcels (5.4 million square feet)
  • Modern, nature-based stormwater infrastructure will be installed

The New Hampshire Division of the Federal Highway Administration recently completed its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for the overall RAISE Manchester project, confirming the project’s minimal impact on the environment and signaling its progression to the final design phase.

Additional updates will be shared as the project makes its way through the city, state and federal approval process.

For more information about the RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities project, visit