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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

Merrimack Town Councilors Vote In Favor Of Suing State Over Toll Booths

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NHPR / Michael Brindley
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Town councilors in Merrimack have voted in favor of pursuing a lawsuit against the state in an attempt to get relief from toll booths.

The town has had toll booths at all three points of access along the F.E. Everett Turnpike for nearly 25 years.

State transportation officials say the toll booths were installed as part of a deal with the town.

The revenue was intended to help pay off the bond used to build the exits, which in turn give the town access to the highway.

But town councilor Dan Dwyer says the feeling among residents is enough is enough.

“For years we’ve just been trying to unlock ourselves from this burden that for some reason, the New Hampshire DOT and the state Legislature refuses to offer any relief or any help.”

The town council voted 5-1 last week to give the town manager the authority to explore taking legal action against the state.

A House committee last month voted unanimously to reject a bill that would have removed the toll booths at Exit 12.

State transportation officials oppose efforts to remove the toll booths and say the bond won’t be paid off for at least another decade.

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