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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

Downeaster Looks For A Ridership Rebound As Repair Work Concludes

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Voluntary Amputation via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/photopunk13/565984437/in/photostream/
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Downeaster train.

Officials with Amtrak's Downeaster rail service say work is nearly complete on a maintenance project that's led to delays, cancelations and dips in ridership over the summer. 

Since May, crews have been working to replace roughly 22,000 railroad ties along the tracks between New Hampshire’s southern border and Portland, Maine. 

The project has caused hundreds of midday trains to be canceled; others have been delayed, and average daily ridership has dropped by five to six hundred.

Patricia Quinn of the New England Passenger Rail Authority says there are only 7 to 10 days of work left. For New Hampshire riders, that means the only remaining effect is that southbound trains are arriving about 30 minutes late.

“But the travel time between their stations and Boston should be pretty much on time,” Quinn said. “And right now any northbound departure between Boston and Wells is not affected by this construction at all.”

Quinn says the Downeaster is planning a marketing campaign to bring riders back once the repair work is complete.

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