The Hospital Bridge and the Hanover Bypass

An extremely expensive new bridge and highway could clear a route through the woods from Lahaye Drive (the hospital’s southern access road) over Colburn Hill, around Boston Lot Lake, over Route 10, and over the Connecticut River to an intersection with Vermont Route 5 at the Bugbee Street exit off Interstate 91.

Hanover/Lebanon hospital bypass routes

Mockup of potential bridge location and two bypass routes. Ledyard Bridge is at the top.

On the New Hampshire side, a bypass would affect Boston Lot Lake and the trails around it (map). The lake, which has a great name, might be artificial and appears to be owned by Dartmouth, as is the surrounding property.

On the Vermont side, the land between Bugbee Street and the bridge’s western abutment includes some undeveloped parcels; some commercial properties, including Blood’s Catering; a couple of house lots; and St. Anthony’s Cemetery (map).

This idea is sketched so roughly here that the elevations of the underlying north-south routes have not even been accounted for. Would the bridge go from hillside to hillside, flying over both Route 10 and Route 5? Or would it be more like the Hartford bridges, picking up local streets and crossing the river a few yards above the surface?

(At the very least, one wonders whether Lahaye Drive or Gould Road — of Sachem Village — should be pushed through to connect Routes 10 and 120 at the latitude of the hospital.)

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[Update 06.11.2012: Page 14 of the 2002 Campus Master Plan (pdf) suggests that the general idea of a bypass has received some attention:

To reduce congestion, Hanover has explored alternatives to bypass the Inn corner. A Connector Highway linking Route 120, Route 10 and I-91 would be very desirable for both Hanover and the Medical Center, but Lebanon has not supported this proposal. The College should continue to study this and other by-pass proposals, making College properties available if necessary.

The map on page 15 of the plan appears to indicate that Dartmouth does not own the land around the lake, contrary to the presumption of this post.]

[Update 10.17.2012: Okay, the earlier idea posted here was too radical. The hospital folks don’t need a road that leads directly to Vermont: all they need is a route that is less slow than the Ledyard Bridge. Anyway, the Boston Lot Lake area is protected by a conservation easement. So why not extend Gould Road — it needs to be extended whether or not a bridge is built — and build a bridge somewhere to the south, wherever it could be done with the least cost? Then all Hanover would have to do is add enough traffic-calming devices to ensure that Wheelock Street never gets the reputation of being the faster of the two routes.]

2 thoughts on “The Hospital Bridge and the Hanover Bypass

  1. I have not seen a single thing about it anywhere, and I was hoping this would stir up some discussion and maybe a map done by a professional. I heard people in Hanover talking about the bypass as a tentative but genuine proposal around 2007.

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