Shopping center

Roadworks near exit 17 of the Market Basket shopping center will be delayed

Published: 09/10/2021 18:18:12

People passing the grocery store under construction near I-93 Exit 17 won’t face road construction issues until next spring, even as work continues on the long-awaited development itself.

Earlier plans called for work to start this fall on Route 4 King Street, where a large roundabout will be built to bring traffic to and from a new shopping center on Whitney Road. But delays caused in part by the need to obtain state permits led to a change.

“We are going through the permitting process with the Department of Environmental Services and the Department of Transportation. It took a little longer than we originally anticipated,” said Carlos Baia, assistant city manager of Concord. “We will likely be doing Whitney Road work for the remainder of this construction season,” with work on Route 4 starting next spring.

The Whitney Road works will include the construction of a small roundabout which leads to the shopping centre, called Merchants Way.

Construction began this spring on the 20,000 square foot New Hampshire liquor and wine outlet and the 80,000 square foot Market Basket store. The liquor store is expected to open early next year while the grocery store is expected to open next fall, according to owners and developers Laurie and David Rauseo, doing business as Interchange Development. Four other unspecified tenants at the center are in the “design and/or permitting phase”, the developers said in a statement.

Baia said the city’s contractor, Pembroke construction company FL Merrill, is monitoring supply chain issues, which are causing backlogs and rising prices.

“It’s a problem for any construction project at the moment; everything is taking longer than expected. … Delivery times are much longer than they were in the past,” he said. “We know it’s a weird time we’re living in right now, but we haven’t had to make any changes so far with anything related to bid pricing.”

The city’s roadwork is expected to cost $3.79 million. Part of the Route 4 work will be done across the border in Canterbury; Interchange Developers will pay $575,314 for this work. Changes are also being made to the southbound I-93 ramp at Exit 17, a few hundred yards east of Whiting Road.

Merchants Way is the culmination of years of debate and discussion about building a grocery store in Penacook. An agreement with the Rauseos approved by city council in May outlines plans for condos, additional retail stores and a dental and emergency care practice in the next phase of the project.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or [email protected] or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)