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People walk down South Commercial Street in Manchester

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MANCHESTER, N.H.The third time was the charm.

Manchester officials received word this week the city will receive a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to transform the South Millyard area.

This marks the third time city officials have applied for the grant, formerly known as BUILD and TIGER, and the first time the Queen City has successfully secured funding. Manchester was the only city in New Hampshire to receive a RAISE award this year, and the $25 million is the most money awarded by the program to any city in the United States.

The RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities project includes roadway, bridge, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements at a cost of $30 million. This includes a $5 million local match, combined with the $25 million RAISE grant. All funds are to be spent by 2029.

The project has four components:

  • South Commercial Street Extension:New roadway with bridge over the railroad tracks and grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian path, with South Commercial extending to Elm Street.
  • South Willow Street-Queen City Avenue Intersection Reconfiguration:Roundabout with improved bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
  • Gas Street Extension and Active Transportation Corridor:New roadway connecting South Commercial Street Extension to Willow Street, and use of abandoned railroad corridor for bicycle and pedestrian path.
  • Pedestrian connection improvements,including a pedestrian bridge over Granite Street.

“This project will mitigate traffic congestion, provide increased transportation options and create opportunities for development throughout South Elm Street,” said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig in a statement. “This is a big deal for the city of Manchester. ”

Alderman at Large Joe Kelly Levasseur called it a “great day for the city.”

“This took hard work by very dedicated people working for the city who refused to give up on this grant,” Levasseur said. “This will transform the southern part of downtown into a magnificent place to live and work.”

The project focuses on the South Millyard area, bounded by the Granite Street corridor to the north, Queen City Avenue corridor to the south, the Elm Street and South Willow Street corridors on the east, and the Merrimack River.

At the heart of the project is the conversion of the retired railbed connecting the project area to Queen City Avenue as a multi-use transportation corridor.

The corridor will link two areas — a proposed multimodal transportation center and a newly reconfigured intersection/gateway at Queen City Avenue/Cilley Road/South Willow Street, including a new roundabout system, with opportunities for development of multi-use buildings.

The RAISE grant announcement came as President Joe Biden traveled to Woodstock on Tuesday to talk about the impact of the recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

The four members of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation accompanied Biden to New Hampshire and celebrated the news that Manchester was awarded a RAISE grant.

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas called the grant a “game-changer.”

“It will make a down payment on creating the kind of bright future that is possible when we make smart, forward-looking investments that create jobs, spur economic development, and improve quality of life,” said Pappas.

“It has been a good week for New Hampshire businesses and working families,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “The Manchester Millyard is a hub of innovation, educational institutions, restaurants, shopping and more, which is why we need to capitalize on this economic engine by improving transportation in and out of the area. These federal dollars will provide the support necessary for the Queen City to complete its transportation corridor so we can ensure swift and efficient movement of people, goods and services to and from the center.”

“This funding will improve the economically vibrant Manchester Millyard, helping it continue to serve as a center of economic growth and innovation in our state,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan.