The New Hampshire Department of Transportation plans to add “rumble strips” to heavily traveled Route 125 between Plaistow and Rochester.
Rumble strips are ridged segments of pavement that cause a car’s tires to vibrate audibly. Placed alongside travel lanes, they alert inattentive or sleepy drivers who start to drift off the roadway.
Ronald Grandmaison, project manager for DOT’s Bureau of Highway Design, said he has begun talking to town officials and holding public hearings on the proposal.
“So far most of the response has been positive,” he said. “My intent is to go to public informational meetings and hear from residents and public officials.”
Grandmaison held his first meeting in Epping on Tuesday and plans another in Plaistow at the end of the month.
Plaistow Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said he favors rumble strips on Route 125.
“Anything that can help save lives is worth considering,” he said. “This is one of many strategies of investing in infrastructure that would do that.”
The strips would start just north of Old County Road and continue about 50 miles to Rochester, with some interruptions. They would not be placed along the retail strip in Plaistow, for example.
“Primarily, they are used to deal with distracted and drowsy drivers,” Grandmaison said. “If they leave their lane then they can be alerted so they go right back to where they were traveling.”
Grandmaison said rumble strips also help keep drivers steer straight at night.
“When there is a long stretch of highway, where a lot of people drive at night, then you have some glares, which can make it tough to drive,” he said. “This will provide a little security.”
Rumble strips can be placed in the middle of the road, on the sides or both.
“We still haven’t determined that,” Grandmaison said. “We want to keep everyone involved in the process and see what ideas they have.”