‘Unforeseen circumstances’: Route 12 construction hits snag; NHDOT working to develop solution

Workers with Casella Construction continue repairs on Route 12 south of Charlestown after having removed the asphalt and concrete base in the damaged section of the road. Photo by Christopher Shaban, Eagle Times Staff

CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – A recent update provided by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation regarding ongoing construction on a major roadway along the Connecticut River shines a light on “unforeseen circumstances” that have arisen in the past month.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, issues first emerged when workers began to install the soil nail wall, which would help stabilize soil on the east side of the roadway to prevent landslides, during the week of Feb. 14. As work was advancing, the track monitoring system associated with the nearby railroad registered “excessive movement.” This movement caused the railroad to reduce speeds to 10 mph in the area of the ongoing construction work.

The movement – as well as other contributing factors including high groundwater, fluctuating temperatures, and a fractured underlying ledge – also led to the railroad rescinding their approval of the soil nail wall, according to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation update.

Engineers are analyzing the situation and reevaluating design options in the hopes of “working towards a solution with the public’s and railroad’s safety and travel needs at the forefront.”

It is unclear how these ongoing developments will impact the project’s initial end date of April 29.

The Eagle Times contacted the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for comment but did not hear back in time of publication.


Written by Jordan J. Phelan and Christopher Shaban, EAGLE TIMES STAFF.


The following is an update provided by Eileen P. Meaney, New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) chief communications officer, on Thursday, March 17:

Work on the soil nail wall, which aimed to help stabilize the ground on the east side of the road to prevent future landslides, began on Feb. 14. At the beginning of March — approximately around March 4 and March 5 — the monitoring system installed to detect ground shifts during construction registered “excessive movement.” Working in partnership with the railroad, the NHDOT installed additional monitoring devices “in interest of railroad and public safety” due to “an incredible amount of water.” The railroad also reduced speeds in the area of the construction project to 10 mph and rescinded its approval for the engineers to proceed forward with the soil nail wall. It is “too soon to tell whether [the NHDOT] will be beyond the dates originally anticipated with completion” as the department and the contractor, Casella Construction, of Mendon, Vermont, are in a “sort of state of evaluation” in light of these developments, but should know more “in a week.” If there is a delay in the project’s anticipated completion date of April 29, an update will be posted on the NHDOT’s website at www.dot.nh.gov/news-and-media.



Back To Top