The Department of Transportation has worked with a Technical Steering Committee (TSC) consisting of representatives from each town within the corridor and Methuen, MA, as well as representatives from the New Hampshire and Massachusetts State Police, with the overall goal of developing and implementing an Incident Management Plan for the I-93 Salem to Manchester Corridor. One of the early aims of the plan was to establish planned emergency routes that can be used during incidents on I-93. The purpose of the routes is to allow as much traffic as possible to bypass the section of the interstate that is affected by an incident. The emergency routes are not intended to be used as a means of facilitating construction, but only when there is an incident requiring closure of the highway. This will help to minimize the backup of traffic on the interstate and facilitate the flow of traffic on secondary roads, thus reducing the probability of secondary incidents.
The DOT has been working with the TSC over the past several years to review and agree upon the most appropriate emergency routes. While the use of planned routes may not solve every problem, it is a proactive approach to more safely and effectively managing incidents on the highway. The planned emergency routes will be permanently signed, thus eliminating the need to place signing during an incident, the time at which there is the most congestion. It is anticipated that the permanent signs will be installed in the spring/summer of 2008, providing a route that travelers can follow once they are directed off of the highway. As incidents occur and the emergency routes are utilized, the DOT and TSC will evaluate their effectiveness and determine if adjustments are required.Emergency Routes Fact Sheet