Main Street Sidewalk Project

History & Overview
Nashua’s Main Street sidewalks were last updated more than three decades ago! Anyone who walks downtown today can see the wear and tear that 30 years of New England weather have brought upon our Downtown sidewalks, street lights, traffic poles and benches. This City is poised to address these long-standing problems with a plan to refresh our downtown streetscape with improvements that will bring new life to Downtown Nashua.

Cultivating Vitality Report
The issues with our downtown sidewalks have been discussed for several years. In 2009, the Service Advisory Committee made up of downtown merchants, City officials and property owners developed a comprehensive plan for improving Downtown Nashua. The Cultivating Vitality Report (PDF) was presented to both the Planning and Economic Development Committee and Infrastructure Committees in November 2010. The plan identified repair and maintenance of sidewalks as a major issue in downtown. The plan included recommendations for addressing needed repairs along with targeted investments to create the kind of lively downtown that we can all enjoy. Read our Cultivating Vitality Report Supporting Attachments (PDF).

Partnering With Boards & Committees
In an effort to get our arms around a complete revitalization undertaking, we did our homework. Over the last three years the team at City Hall reviewed the information gathered by the Services Advisory Committee. We listened and worked with our elected officials on the Board of Aldermen (Meeting July 31, 2012) and Board of Public Works as well as our community partners on the Downtown Improvement Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and Great American Downtown. We reached out to our downtown merchants, property owners, and the customers of Downtown Nashua. We carefully documented all areas of concern, inventoried all the amenities, and cataloged our findings and concerns in order to make the best decisions possible.

Research
We visited communities throughout New Hampshire and New England to identify ‘best practices’ for improving and creating beautiful downtowns. We are bringing some of the best ideas we’ve found on improving the quality of our streetscape back to Nashua.

Engineering Stage

We consulted with professional landscape architects, community planners and engineers to understand how to approach our revitalization. We hired structural engineers to evaluate the most pressing conditions under the sidewalks and where drainage issues create problems when it rains. We need to address underground vaults-areas where buildings actually have rooms under the sidewalks-which could create safety problems. We have documented and developed solutions for extensive drainage problems, from crosswalk puddles to roof drainage. We are taking the time and effort to rebuild culverts and catch basins along with our sidewalks to ensure the improvements we make are built to last.

Downtown Blocks
In order to help define the project we have divided the downtown area into blocks. Each block includes the east and west side of the streets from the Main Street railroad crossing to Hollis Street. For the most part, we will concentrate on one block at a time. In 2012 we focused on Block 1, which spans from the Main Street railroad crossing, including the Main Street Bridge, all the way to Water and Park Streets. In 2013 we will put the finishing touches on Block 1 and begin the work on Blocks 2 and possibly 3. You may be interested in the approach; sidewalk review and history from 1977 to present: Read the Sidewalk History in Review (1977-Present) (PDF).

Project Updates
In an effort to keep the businesses, consumers and residents as well informed as possible regarding the ongoing project as it progresses, we have developed this site and will be posting maps, photos, financial information and a timeline. You are encouraged to check back often for updates, visit the downtown to see the changes firsthand, follow the progress and of course contact us with questions or concerns.
View the Most Recent Main Street Sidewalk Update (PDF) | View All the Main Street Sidewalk Updates

I encourage you to start by viewing the Community Spotlight video, where we take a walk through our downtown and talk about the challenges we faced and improvements we have made on block one.

Thank you for taking an interest and for your patience. We hope you will continue to patronize our downtown businesses.

We are confident that this revitalization effort leverages our resources at the right balance, has built a powerful consensus with the majority of stakeholders and incorporates design elements that will make it an inviting place to come, live, shop, play and enjoy. These efforts