Study Suggests Traffic, Housing Fixes For Towns Around Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Jan 8, 2020

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard sits between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine on the Piscataqua River. Workers come from nearby towns in both states.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new study points to a range of options for easing traffic and improving economic development around the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The land use study was spearheaded by the town of Kittery, Maine. It's designed to help local officials plan improvements and seek federal funding.

Larry Dennis is president of the engineers' union at the shipyard, where nearly 7,000 people work.

He says those workers and nearby residents need to agree on better options for parking, public transit, safe bike lanes and other ways to commute or work remotely.

“There’s a lot of improvements, now that this joint land use study is out, [the town] can then go forward to Congress … to get the funding,” Dennis says.

The study says more affordable housing and retail development near the shipyard could help workers and their families choose shorter commutes.

The facility, on the Piscataqua River, is one of the Navy’s four public shipyards. It’s tasked with maintaining the U.S. nuclear submarine fleet.