State Approves $1.8 Million in Federal Funds for UNH/Durham Transportation Projects

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau

September 4, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire and the town of Durham will receive more than $1.8 million in federal funds to improve transportation and air quality on campus and in Durham.

The N.H. Department of Transportation commissioner and Governor's Advisory Committee on Intermodal Transportation approved the $1.8 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program funds, which will be used to reconstruct and enhance the Main Street corridor through campus, expand the rail station, expand campus shuttle service and support the regional CNG refueling station.

"The university is working cooperatively with the region and the state of New Hampshire to improve the transportation system and reduce air quality and congestion impacts," says Stephen Pesci, special projects manager with UNH Parking and Transportation.

"These projects will help us reduce emissions and work towards improving air quality measurements," Pesci says. "In the last nine months, UNH has been recommended for or been granted more than $2.9 million in new transportation funding, including state and federal monies. We are developing a CNG fueling station with a $1 million discretionary appropriation through the Federal Transit Administration."

Durham officials supported all of the projects, and are particularly excited about the project that will improve and enhance Main Street.

"The new project will blend in very nicely with the improvements already made to Main Street in the downtown area and will provide for safer pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as improve vehicular and transit traffic. This project will benefit both the town and the UNH community and will provide for a wonderful gateway to the downtown," says Jim Campbell, Durham town planner.

Funding includes $504,000 to reconstruct and improve the Main Street corridor through campus. The total project cost is estimated at $630,000. The project calls for the reconstruction of Main Street from Pettee Brook Lane to the edge of campus to permit bi-directional traffic, bicycle, pedestrian and safety improvements, crosswalk upgrades and landscaping.

UNH has received $652,000 to develop an expanded rail platform; renovate the interior and exterior of the station to include an indoor waiting space; and construct bus access to the platform area with improved pedestrian access around the station. The total project cost is estimated at $815,000.

The state approved $360,000 toward the purchase of three campus shuttles and funding for two years of operating assistance to expand campus shuttle service. The total project cost is estimated at $450,000.

The state approved $300,000 to expand the planned fueling station and purchase of CNG fueled UNH fleet vehicles. The total project cost is estimated at $375,000.

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