Market Street Infrastructure Project


After City staff identified several seized and leaking water valves on Market Street they completed work earlier today to identify the location to replace the valves. As a result, the following streets will be closed and water shut down so the valve replacement can take place between midnight and 5 am TONIGHT Tuesday, October 10 and Thursday night October 12 from 11 pm to 5 am: 

  • Market Street between Sheraton Portsmouth and Market Square 

  • Russell Street between Market and Deer Streets  

  • Deer Street between Russell and Market Street 

  • High Street between Deer and Hanover Street 

  • Hanover Street between High Street and Market Street 

  • High Street between Congress Street and Hanover Garage 

  • Ladd Street 

  • Congress Street between Market Street and High Street 

Service interruptions are as follows: 

Tuesday Night - Wednesday Morning (October 10 to 11) 

  • 12:00 AM: Start excavating near intersection of Market Street and Bow Street 

  • 1:30 AM:  Turn off water and replace gate valve on Bow Street 

  • 5:00 AM:  Water turned back on  

Thursday Night – Friday Morning (October 12 to 13) 

  • 11:00 PM:  Start excavating both valves near Market Street and Market Square. 

  • 1:00 AM:  Turn off water and replace gate valves. 

  • 5:00 AM:  Water turned back on 

Due to work in preparation of tonight’s digging on Market Street, residents may experience discolored water. There is no health risk associated with this. Residents should run their taps until the water is clear.  As a result of the overnight work, residents may again periodically experience discolored water.  

PENHALLOW AND CERES STREETS -- Eversource will be extending the existing electrical conduit from its current terminus at the Daniel and Penhallow Streets intersection down Penhallow Street across Bow Street and down Ceres Street. Work is expected to begin in mid-October and be completed by the end of November.
On Tues Oct 10 - Fri Oct 13, Severino will be prepping the roadways for final paving and striping involving lane shifts to adjust manhole frames and covers, repairing a few sections of sidewalk, and miscellaneous patch paving. The road will be paved the week of Oct 16.

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Information Sessions

Public information meetings were held at Commercial Alley on Feb 27, and regarding the Market Street work at City Hall on Mar 9.

View the project overview presentation from the March 9 session.

Work area for Market St. Utility Code Compliance Project
Map of the affected area

Project Description:

Several issues with the utility infrastructure in Market Street and Commercial Alley must be addressed:

  • Unitil plans to replace the natural gas main on Market Street from Bow Street to Market Square. This work will impact all gas services to buildings along that section of the roadway.
  • The electrical wires and communications cables for many properties in Commercial Alley have traveled over the rooftops of other buildings since Market Square was redesigned in the 1970s. This is no longer allowed by electrical codes. In addition, electrical demand now exceeds existing capacity. Eversource is partnering with Consolidated Communications and Comcast to rewire Commercial Alley via new underground conduits so that all overhead wires in Commercial Alley can be removed.
  • The sewer line on Market Street is approximately 130 years old. Last December, DPW crews repaired a large sink hole that formed in the middle of Market Street because a section of unused 130-year-old pipe collapsed. To remedy this, DPW will install a PVC liner in the wastewater pipe that is currently in use. This liner will coat the interior surface of the pipe to minimize the potential for future sink holes while reinforcing the sewer main.

The project timeline is as follows:

Construction will start April 10, weather-permitting and the utility work will proceed for five weeks.

  • Tree removal on Commercial Alley is scheduled for March 27 starting at 7 am. The City’s Parks & Greenery Division must remove the tree in Commercial Alley. This will affect pedestrian access at the Penhallow-Commercial Alley intersection. [Updated 3/16/23]
  • After the underground work is complete, the restoration work will begin. The sidewalk and Commercial Alley areas that were disturbed will be repaired in May. Outside dining can also begin once Market Street is reopened.
  • Full use of the area will resume, Memorial Day through mid-October. Once outside dining ends on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, DPW will then repave and repaint the roadway.

Each utility will pay for its own work and restoration expenses (repaving and brick repairs) will be divided among them based on the impacts created.