Road construction

Swanzey was awarded a $500,000 grant to help with road improvements.

The money, awarded by the Northern Border Regional Commission, will go toward street, drainage and sidewalk upgrades, Town Administrator Michael Branley said in a news release Friday.

The project’s plans call for reconstructing South Winchester Street, West Street and Swanzey Street, along with replacing and expanding sidewalks and improving drainage on the streets, according to Branley.

The town will match the $500,000 grant, with money coming from bonds, reserve funds and other grants, Branley said. The total project cost is $1,030,000.

Branley said the roads are used by local businesses to access the Route 10 corridor. South Winchester Street and West Street are the main routes from Route 10 to the Homestead Woolen Mill, which was recently bought with plans for its renovation.

It will also improve pedestrian safety, including for students at Cutler Elementary School, which is on South Winchester Street, he said.

Swanzey is the first community in Cheshire County to be awarded a grant from the commission. Towns in Cheshire County became eligible for grants for the first time this year, after the commission’s reach was expanded to Cheshire and Belknap counties through legislation introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Annie Kuster.

The state-federal partnership disburses money for economic and community development projects to portions of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and New York.

Created by an act of Congress in 2008, the commission focuses on areas with high poverty, unemployment or out-migration rates, or areas that have recently experienced any of these trends, according to its website.

Jake Lahut can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or jlahut@keenesentinel.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeLahut.