Insight into the Newington-Dover Bridge Project on the Spaulding Turnpike


Image: Dover-northerly rendering of completed Little Bay Bridges Credit: NHDOT

This blog includes a brief overview of the many phases of the Newington-Dover Bridge Project on the Spaulding Turnpike. This information, and a more in depth analysis of the project in its current phases, was shared with Commissioners and Policy members at the Strafford MPO Policy Committee meeting on October 16th. The presentation was given by Keith Cota, PE, NHDOT Chief Project Manager for Newington-Dover.

The Newington-Dover Bridge Project on the Spaulding Turnpike has been under construction now for 5 years. With completion slated for 2022, this multi-million dollar project is projected to cost a total of $270 million dollars by the time it is completed.  The project is expected to be constructed in five constructions contracts. Currently, three contracts are either completed or underway. Two remaining contracts  to be finalized over the next 5-7 years.

The project, which is primarily funded through turnpike toll revenue and bond proceeds, will alleviate traffic congestion between Newington and Dover on Routes 4 and 16. In addition to the turnpike expansion,  the project has invested in  environmental mitigation components ($4.57 million invested in close to 225 acres for preservation and restoration), the completion of regional Park N Ride facilities (completed in Dover and Rochester, with one being planned in Lee), and investments in alternative transportation options ($2 million investment in the Amtrak Downeaster and expanded transit service with COAST and C&J, in addition to the creation of a Transportation Management Authority).

The constructi0n contracts are planned out in the project schedule as shown below and will ultimately provide four travel lanes Northbound and Southbound along the turnpike between Exit 3 and Exit 6.  These contracts include:

  • Contract “L” – construction of the new southbound Little Bay Bridge (completed fall 2013);
  • Contract “M” – construction of the turnpike roadway approach on the Newington side of the Little Bay Bridge including a new full service interchange at Exit 3, improvements of stormwater detention basins, the restoration of Railway Brook and future accommodations for railroad spur across the Turnpike by others, (completion spring 2016);
  • Contract “O” – rehabilitation of the existing Little Bay Bridges (completion fall 2017);
  • Contract “Q” – construction of Turnpike roadway improvements on the Dover side of the Little Bay Bridges to include the elimination of Exit 5, full service interchange at Exit 6 with the installation of 2 signalized intersections at the new Exit 6 ramps, a roundabout at Boston Harbor Road, municipal water and sewer infrastructure upgrades, Unitil gas line relocations along the easterly side of the turnpike including a directional bore installation under Pomeroy Cove, and the construction of soundwalls north and south of Exit 6 interchange. (To be advertised May, 2016 with anticipated completion in fall 2020); and
  • Contract “S” – Rehabilitation of the General Sullivan Bridge to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle access across the Little Bay. Studies are currently being conducted to evaluate the structurally integrity of the bridge and the feasibility to complete the rehabilitation. (Construction is programmed for 2021-2022).

Due to the turnpike investments under this project, two other supplemental projects are being brought forward to further improve traffic flow and accommodate long-term operational maintenance of the new facility.  The projects consist of the upgrade of the   Dover Toll Booth to develop Open Road Tolling (ORT) to reduce user’s delays and the construction of a new Turnpike Maintenance facility at the former drive-in theater located in Newington.  Both projects will include expanded public outreach through the Department’s public input process as the concepts are developed.

The NHDOT team values outreach and education of the actions being taken under the Turnpike program and has provided multiple ways to stay current on the different phases of this regionally significant project.  Some of the ways you can stay informed include visiting:

the presentation in its entirety –

the main project website-

the travel information map-

NH DOT’s Trasportation Management Center-


*This blog post was written with edits and input  from Keith Cota, PE, NHDOT Chief Project Manager for Newington-Dover.