Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
LIMITED TIME ONLY: Discounted Pint Glass/Tote Bag Combo at $10 sustaining member level.
Some Facts About New Hampshire’s Infrastructure:New Hampshire has approximately 17,000 miles of state and town roads, turnpikes and interstate highways. There are 3,795 bridges in the state. As of 2010, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation plowed more than 800 lane miles of roads and put down 180,000 tons of salt for snow and ice control annually.The state was given a “C” grade by the American Society of Civil Engineers for the condition of its roads and bridges. New Hampshire was rated among the worst in the country for the poor condition of its bridges by Transportation For America. On average, bridges are older in New Hampshire than those in the rest of the country. There are hundreds of bridges on the so-called “red list,” which means that the bridges have major structural problems and need to be repaired or replaced.The state also has a poor record when it comes to public transportation. New Hampshire has no comprehensive rail system and is rated 42nd in terms of investment in public transportation according to the State Department of Transportation.The majority of New Hampshire’s infrastructure funding comes from vehicle registration fees and gas taxes. The state takes out fewer bond loans than other states and considers its funding a “pay as you go” system. The gas tax, the lowest in New England, has not been raised since 1991. The 2011 Legislature did away with a motor vehicle fee increase. That change has meant more $30 million a year in cuts to DOT.The $800 million expansion of I-93 from Salem to Manchester began in 2006, but has been delayed several times because of a lack of funding. Supporters of the expansion say it will update one of the country’s most congested highways and bring needed tourism revenue to the more isolated and less economically robust northern part of the state. Traffic on I-93 has increased 600 percent since the highway was built in the 1960s and approximately 80,000 cars now drive on it each day.Summary provided by StateImpact NH

Northeast States Plan New Program To Cut Transportation Emissions

Wikimedia Commons

Nine Northeast states and the District of Columbia will plan a new program to price and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.

The initiative, announced Tuesday, does not yet include New Hampshire, Maine or New York.

Passenger vehicles and other forms of transit are the country's biggest sources of carbon emissions that drive climate change.

Now, the participating states say they’ll spend the next year designing a way to change that – with an eye toward equitably affecting communities that have limited transit alternatives.

Officials hope to devise a system that would limit and price transportation emissions, and use the resulting revenues to make their transportation systems more resilient.

The program could mimic the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which studies show has been successful in cutting emissions and boosting regional economies.

Jim O’Brien is a spokesman for the Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire.

“As we’ve seen with the electric sector, a regional approach on reducing transportation emissions seems like the best way forward – especially [in an] economy-wide way,” O’Brien says.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says in a statement it will continue participating in meetings of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI. That group includes the Northeast and Atlantic states and has been looking into transportation sector emissions issues since 2010. 

The DES statement says that when the new program is complete, “policy makers will, at that time, need to evaluate whether participation in the program is in New Hampshire’s best interests.” 

It says New Hampshire will also keep working with the other TCI states on electric vehicle initiatives, as well as “promoting the development of sustainable communities, and seeking ways to improve the efficiency of freight movement throughout the region.”  

Jim O’Brien says states will be affected by the carbon pricing program whether or not they play an active role in shaping it, because the region's transportation system is so interconnected.  

“We should be at the table working on solutions with our neighbors and not waiting for things to happen to us,” he says.

The states that are participating in developing the program say they’ll each decide whether to adopt it after the year-long planning process.

“The participants intend this program to be implemented on a regional basis after a critical mass of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have completed the legal processes to implement the agreed upon pricing mechanism,” their joint statement says.

Officials in Maine and New York did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.