CHESTERFIELD, N.H. >> Work begins on modifying and removing some of the recently installed rumble strips along Route 9 on Monday.
The work is a result of numerous complaints from Chesterfield residents about the noise of vehicles drifting onto or passing over the rumble strips.
"We acknowledge the concerns expressed by a significant number of citizens who provided feedback including, constant noise from the rumble strips, loss of sleep, quality of life, the residential zoning of N.H. 9, the potential impact to businesses and property values, and the lack of advance notice or the opportunity for public input in advance of the project," wrote Victoria F. Sheehan, the Commissioner of the N.H. DOT in a letter to the town. "Given the level of negative feedback, the Department believes remedial action is warranted to address and rectify the situation."
According to the Department of Transportation, shoulder rumble strips on the fog line will be removed from Forest View Drive in Chesterfield, at the bottom of the west side of Chesterfield Hill, to the Vermont border. The rumble strips will be milled and paved in.
"Future installations of shoulder rumble strips, further offset from the white line, may be considered at some point," noted Sheehan.
Bill Boynton, the spokesman for N.H. DOT, said the shoulder rumble strips were installed on the fog line as per federal recommendations.
Centerline rumble strips will remain along Route 9 with the exception of intersection areas with high turning movements. Those intersections include Asgard Road, Higley Road, Pinnacle Springs Road, at the Spofford Irving Big Deal and Atherton Hill Road.
While town residents and members of the Chesterfield Board of Selectmen asked that the centerline rumble strips be removed in their entirety, Sheehan noted that the DOT believes "there are very real safety benefits to be gained in deterring centerline encroachment and crossovers, especially noting character and speeds along NH 9."
"The Department of Transportation is not backing off its rumble strip policy, but we are looking at specific locations to see what is appropriate," said Boynton.
Boynton noted that rumble strips are not new to New Hampshire, the installation of which began almost 15 years ago. The project along Route 9 was an attempt to finish up work that began on the corridor south of Concord.
"We regret the frustration that this project has caused and the need for remediation," wrote Sheehan, who also noted the concerns raised about the intersection of Route 9 and Route 63.
"With regard to the Road Safety audit for NH 9 and NH 63 intersection, the report is mostly finished and overdue. We will look to complete the report by the end of September. The results will be shared and discussed with the community to determine the next steps."
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160