Interstate 293 encircles Manchester west of I-93 and north of NH 101 from the town of Bedford. The freeway diverts traffic from Interstate 93, U.S. 3, and the F.E. Everett Turnpike alongside the Merrimack River and Downtown Manchester.
The F.E. Everett Turnpike portion of Interstate 293 opened from NH 101 north to NH 3A (Queen City Avenue) in August 1955. I-293 between Queen City Avenue and the turnpike mainline along Interstate 93 followed with completion during August 1957.1
The New Hampshire Department of Public Works and Highways proposed numbering the Interstate route into the urban area of Manchester as I-193 to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on July 11, 1958. AASHO approved I-193 as the lone entry for the New Hampshire proposed urban Interstate numerology on November 10, 1958.
Interstate 193 was a spur extending west from I-93 to an interchange joining the F.E. Everett Turnpike with U.S. 3 (2nd Street) in Manchester. It opened in 1961 as part of the NH 101 upgrade planned between Manchester and the Seacoast.
The New Hampshire Department of Public Works and Highways requested to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on June 17, 1976 for the designation of an Interstate Loop around Manchester. The request focused on the addition of 5.4 miles of the F.E. Everett Turnpike from I-193 to the segment of I-93 under construction to the north of Manchester. The FHWA agreed that the route would be a logical addition to the Interstate System and that it was up to current standards. The route was approved under the provision of 23 U.S.C. 139(a) with the designation of Interstate 293 by August 9, 1976.
A previous application approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on July 13, 1976 subject to FHWA concurrence requested the renumbering of I-193 to I-293:
It is proposed that, upon completion of I-93 (under construction) in the northeast section of Manchester, the designation of I-193 be changed to I-293 and the route be extended along the F.E. Everett Turnpike to its interchange with I-93. I-93 proceeds northerly along the F.E. Everett Turnpike as a toll facility.
The proposal would provide a complete loop of I-93 to I-93
Interstate 93 was completed to the east of Manchester in 1977. I-193 was renumbered as I-293 and the route extended north along the toll free portion of the Everett Turnpike through the city.2