The four main components of RAISE Manchester: Connecting Communities are:
- A new pedestrian bridge over Granite Street to connect Commercial and South Commercial streets.
- A new roadway called “South Commercial Street Extension” and multimodal bridge over the CSX railroad tracks behind the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium to improve the connection between the east and west sides of the tracks, alleviate traffic congestion on Granite Street during peak times and provide alternative access to Elm Street. This will also include a bike and pedestrian path on the bridge.
- A new roadway connector and multimodal bridge called “Gas Street Extension” between where South Commercial Street Extension meets Elm Street that will cross over the abandoned railroad right-of-way to Willow Street. In conjunction, the city will convert the railroad right-of-way to a paved rail trail for bicycle and pedestrian use.
- A “peanut roundabout” at the South Willow Street and Queen City Avenue intersection, replacing a signalized intersection, to improve mobility and safety at this location.
Granite Street Pedestrian Bridge
A fully accessible pedestrian bridge will be located just east of the Commercial Street and Granite Street intersection.
- Improved safety for pedestrians crossing seven lanes of dense urban traffic
- Safer access to places of employment (SNHU/WMUR) and events (Fisher Cats/SNHU Arena) and hotels (Hilton Garden Inn)
- Accommodates increasing pedestrian traffic at that intersection (600 daily from 7am to 7pm)
- Fully accessible ramp access
- Improved signal operation at intersection of Granite and Commercial Streets
- Reduced emissions from idling vehicles
South Commercial Street Extension
A new roadway and bridge will provide egress south of the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium by continuing South Commercial Street and passing over the active rail line. This will not only provide an alternative route to Elm Street during rush hour traffic, it will also provide motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists a way to cross the rail line when a train is passing through.
- Reconnect east and west sides of rail line south of Granite Street with above grade rail crossing
- Multi-modal bridge for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians
- Reduce traffic congestion on Granite Street, including the I-293 interchange, during peak hours
- Emergency response times for first responder access to south Millyard cut in half
- Greater access to transportation options for traditionally underserved communities
- Enhanced value of underutilized parcels (5.4 million square feet)
- Cutting edge, nature-based stormwater infrastructure will be installed
Gas Street Extension / Rail Trail
At the intersection where South Commercial Street terminates on Elm Street, drivers will be able to cross onto a new roadway on the east side of Elm, called Gas Street Extension, which will connect to Willow Street just north of the Queen City Avenue and South Willow Street intersection including a multi-modal bridge over the abandoned rail line. A section of abandoned rail line will also be paved and connected to the city’s southern stretch of the Granite State Rail Trail.
- Additional traffic flow alternatives to connect Downtown and Millyard to the South Willow Street commercial district with construction of a multi-modal bridge over the abandoned railroad corridor
- Improve traffic flow with interconnected traffic signals on Elm Street
- Clean up and complete a refuse-ridden and overgrown section abandoned rail, which has become a hidden zone of undesirable behavior
- Paved path for pedestrians and bicyclists with access to adjacent parcels and connectivity to existing and future rail trails
- Creates first ever pedestrian and bicycle connection between north and south sections of the Central Business District
- Constructs an additional 0.68 miles of the Granite State Rail Trail that, when complete, will connect Lebanon to Salem across approximately 120 miles
South Willow/Queen City Intersection
Proposed Intersection Design
Current Intersection Design
The current layout of the Queen City Avenue and South Willow Street intersection is confusing and unsafe for motorists, and does not offer any connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists. By eliminating the traffic signals and installing a “peanut roundabout,” traffic will flow safely and smartly, with more options for non-motorists.
- Improved safety by reducing speeds through the intersection
- Adding bike lanes and sidewalks (currently no pedestrian crossings exist)
- Improved freight and vehicular operations by eliminating signal delay
- Reduced emissions from idling vehicles
Rail Trail Connections
The project will complete a critical connection at the center of Manchester providing connectivity between the Rockingham Recreational Trail, to the Piscataquog Rail Trail, and the South Manchester Rail Trail to the Riverwalk.
Bicycle Network Connections
The project will make significant upgrades to the city’s bicycle network connections, as seen below.
Pedestrian Network Connections
The project will make significant upgrades to the city’s pedestrian network connections, as seen below.