Interstate 293 provides a business route through Manchester. It diverts traffic from Interstate 93, U.S. 3, and the F.E. Everett Turnpike through downtown Manchester along the Merrimack River.
The F.E. Everett Turnpike portion of Interstate 293 opened from New Hampshire 101 north to New Hampshire 3A (Queen City Avenue) in August 1955. Interstate 293 between Queen City Avenue and the Interstate 93 turnpike mainline followed in completion during August 1957.1
Originally, the east-west section of I-293 between the F.E. Everett Turnpike and Interstate 93 was designated as Interstate 193. It opened in 1961 as part of the New Hampshire 101 upgrade planned between Manchester and the Seacoast. When Interstate 93 was completed to the east of Manchester in 1977, I-193 was renumbered as I-293 with the route extended north along the free portion of the Everett Turnpike through the city.2 AASHTO approved the redesignation on July 13, 1976.
Southbound Interstate 293/eastbound New Hampshire 101 approaching Interstate 93 on the south side of Manchester. The Interstate and state highway overlap from Exit 3 at the F.E. Everett Turnpike eastward to Interstate 93. New Hampshire 101, a freeway between Manchester and Hampton Beach along the New Hampshire seaboard, follows Interstate 93 northward two miles to Exit 7. Photo taken by Cullen Wassell (9/01).
A new diagrammatic overhead and sign bridge replaced the overheads attached to the Huse Road over crossing on Interstate 293 south & New Hampshire 101 east. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Traffic partitions onto the north and southbound ramps to Interstate 93. Derry and Salem are both New Hampshire towns located between Manchester and the Massachusetts state line, a distance of nineteen miles. Portsmouth is the eastbound control city for New Hampshire 101 beyond its split with Interstate 93 north. Photo taken by Cullen Wassell (9/01).
Replacement sign bridge and overheads at the Interstate 293 southern terminus. Note the lack of sign lighting. The state capital of Concord is a 23 mile drive northward via Interstate 93; 57 miles separates Interstate 293 from Boston, Massachusetts via Interstate 93 south. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Perspective from Interstate 93 south
New Hampshire 101 westbound merges onto Interstate 93 south at a tri-level stack interchange (Exit 7). From there the two highways meet Hanover Street and Candia Road at the split-diamond interchange of Exit 6. Posted beyond the Candia Road on-ramp is the first in a series of diagrammatic overheads for the Interstate 93 & New Hampshire 101 junction with Interstate 293 north. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Within one half mile of the Interstate 93 southbound split with New Hampshire 101 west at Interstate 293 north. Interstate 293 & New Hampshire 101 travel east-west between Interstate 93 and the F.E. Everett Turnpike. The freeway serves Manchester International Airport via New Hampshire 3A (Brown Avenue) south from Exit 2. Photo taken 06/27/05.
A wide directional interchange facilitates the movements between Interstates 93, 293, and New Hampshire 101 at Manchester. Cohas Avenue Road supports the overheads at the Interstate 293 north & New Hampshire 101 westbound off-ramp from Interstate 93 south. The east-west portion of Interstate 293 represents the historic routing of Interstate 193. New Hampshire 101 stems west from the F.E. Everett Turnpike interchange as a freeway spur to New Boston Road and the town of New Bedford. The state highway continues south from there to Milford and west to Keene in southwestern New Hampshire. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Perspective from Interstate 93 north
Here, northbound Interstate 93 passes by its first advance sign for the junction with Interstate 293 (former Interstate 193) at the south end of the freeway loop through downtown Manchester. This is a major junction for Interstate 93; through traffic should remain on Interstate 93, while local traffic should use Interstate 293 north. Photo taken 06/27/05.
This sign bridge displays a diagrammatic guide sign for the pending Interstate 93 north junction with Interstate 293/New Hampshire 101. The Manchester loop features a control point of Bedford, a western suburb of the city along New Hampshire 101. Note that the mileage features both English and metric units. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Interstate 93 northbound draws to within one half mile of the split with Interstate 293, an unnumbered exit. This is the first of four interchanges to serve the city of Manchester. The other three are Exit 6/Candia Road & Hanover Street, Exit 8/Bridge Street, and Exit 9/U.S. 3-New Hampshire 28 near South Hooksett. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Interstate 293 begins its venture into the city limits of Manchester as Interstate 93 carries New Hampshire 101 northward to Exit 7. Interstate 293 sees seven Manchester area interchanges, the first of which serves New Hampshire 28/South Willow Street. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Interstate 293 northbound features a return ramp to Interstate 93 south for the northern reaches of Manchester. The freeway parallels New Hampshire 3A (Front Street) and the Merrimack River closely from downtown Manchester north to the merge onto Interstate 93 north. Photo taken 06/27/05.
The return ramp onto Interstate 93 southbound represents the last departure point before the F.E. Everett Turnpike resumes status as a toll road. Interstate 93 interchanges with New Hampshire 3A (River Road) via a folded-diamond interchange nearby. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Interstate 293 northbound at the southbound ramp to Interstate 93. Motorists continuing ahead merge directly into the left-hand side of Interstate 93 ahead of the Exit 11 trumpet interchange with Hackett Hill Road and New Hampshire 3A (River Road) at Hooksett. Photos taken 06/27/05.
Perspective from Interstate 93 south
Interstate 93/F.E. Everett Turnpike southbound approaching their split at junction Interstate 293. Interstate 293 carries the Turnpike southward for seven miles along the Merrimack River through Manchester. Photo taken by Jim K. Georges (7/98).
The separate panels in the above photograph were replaced with a diagrammatic overhead The control points remained the same, with the town of Salem at the state line still featured for Interstate 93 southbound travelers. Photo taken by Dan Moraseski (10/00).
A new sign bridge and diagrammatic overhead replaced the sign pictured above by 2005. Interstate 293 represents the most direct route to both Nashua and Manchester International Airport. Nashua lies 15 miles to the south along the F.E. Everett Turnpike beyond New Hampshire 101. Interstate 293 curves along the trajectory of the Merrimack River toward Exit 6 near downtown Manchester. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Interstate 93 in a sense exits from itself as Interstate 293 begins. This orientation is due to the fact that the F.E. Everett Turnpike routing takes precedence. Interstate 93 continues across the Merrimack River into South Hooksett before meeting the New Hampshire 101 east-west freeway. Photo taken 06/27/05.
Perspective from Interstate 93 north
Interstate 93 carries three northbound lanes as it overtakes Interstate 293 for the F.E. Everett Turnpike number of choice. As the sign bridge displays, the turnpike is a toll road, and the Interstate 293 southbound ramp is the last exit one encounters before Interstate 93 is tolled. The Turnpike comes to an end at Interstate 89/Exit 12, 11 miles to the north. Photo taken by Cullen Wassell (9/01).