What would be the point of overpass?

To the Editor:

I understand that the Bedford Town Council is considering a project to build a pedestrian and bicycle overpass at the intersection of Nashua Road and Route 101. They will be seeking an $800,000 grant from the NH Department of Transportation to which the town of Bedford would have to match to make it an $1,600,000 project.

I am having difficulty understanding the rationale for this project since it is already very easy to cross at that intersection since there is already a cross light. I have never seen anyone waiting to cross at that intersection. Is this a project where, "if you build it they will come?" I have heard it is for kids to walk from the high school to the library – a distance of over a mile. How many kids will walk when they could drive their cars. A few problems with this project arise when you consider the 101 widening project scheduled for 2018.

The overpass will require going over five lanes, a center divider, a turning lane onto Bell Hill Road and a sidewalk. In addition, the overpass is intended to be handicap accessible which would require extensive ramps on both sides due to the height requirement.

On the other side the first thing you run into is a mosquito pond (wetland impact?). The overpass will not be usable during the winter unless someone is hired to remove the snow accumulation.

Too often government bodies consider grants as free money without realizing that the money comes from the tax payer regardless of which pocket you take it out of. This is a needless expensive project. I suggest the public attend the Aug. 24 Town Council meeting to voice your opinion.

Kent Messamore

Bedford