New Hampshire's Infrastructure

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

State Plans To Increase Road Paving Work In 2016

Apr 25, 2016
N.H. Department of Transportation Website

 About 700 miles of New Hampshire highways will be repaved or maintained this year, according to the state Department of Transportation.

It's the third straight year the DOT has increased its paving work.

Memorial Bridge Inspection Planned For Tuesday

Apr 18, 2016
krburgie via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/4mMA5Z

  The Memorial Bridge will be closed to all traffic for part of the day Tuesday. 

Gloconda Beekman / Flickr/CC

After the Flint, Michigan water crisis, many around the country started taking a closer look their own water systems. And with a recent contamination scare in southern New Hampshire by the chemical PFOA  - the concerns have become local.  We'll look at the state's sources for drinking water, and the challenges to delivering it free from contaminants.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport Tower
J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Manchester Boston Regional Airport is upgrading its terminal. 

Nashua Mayor Looks To Build Public Support For Rail

Mar 21, 2016
Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

  Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess is hosting an event tonight to highlight a proposed commuter rail service between southern New Hampshire and Boston. 

Via Flickr CC

New Hampshire gas prices have continued to drop in recent weeks, though they may start to slowly rise over the coming weeks. 

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

Passenger rail advocates are holding a news conference today in Concord. They’re hoping the state will begin a planning process for a rail line between Manchester and Boston. 

State DOT To Repair Manchester Bridge Today

Feb 1, 2016
flickr/bcgrote

  The state is planning bridge work today in Manchester. 

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

A group of New Hampshire mayors and mayors-elect rallied around Hillary Clinton’s newly released infrastructure plan Monday, expressing optimism that the Democratic presidential candidate’s proposals will provide a long-awaited boost to local development.

  State transportation officials are holding a public meeting this afternoon in Stewartstown about plans to replace a bridge on state Route 145. 

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

  Two Democratic Executive Councilors are outlining a proposal they say could fund passenger rail service between Manchester and Boston.

Keene Adds Electric Car Charging Station

Nov 9, 2015
mariordo via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/sybjF

The city of Keene has installed a new charging station for electric cars.

Passenger Rail Advocates To Hold Summit In Nashua

Oct 19, 2015
Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

Advocates for expanding passenger rail in southern New Hampshire are gathering in Nashua today.

The Regional Passenger Rail Summit will include presentations by federal, state and regional transportation officials about current projects and the economic impact of passenger rail systems.

Michael Izbicki, chair of the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority, says advocates are hoping more people will support rail as they hear about its potential benefits:

New Transportation Commissioner To Be Sworn In

Oct 19, 2015
construction-institute.org

  Governor Maggie Hassan will swear in the state’s new Transportation Commissioner today.

Victoria Sheehan of Nashua served in a number of roles for the Massachusetts Department of transportation, most recently coordinating the highway division's five-year, $5 billion capital plan and $600 million annual operating budget.

The Executive Council confirmed Sheehan in September.

She succeeds Chris Clement, who stepped down as commissioner in December to take a position with the University of New Hampshire.

flickr/bcgrote

 

As the state works on the next 10-year transportation plan, Gov. Maggie Hassan wants a long-awaited Interstate 93 exit in the congested areas of Londonderry and Derry to be a priority.

In a letter to town officials, Hassan said she plans to work with the Department of Transportation to look at ways to place a higher priority and accelerate the Exit 4A project as part of the I-93 expansion.

Bill Boynton, department spokesman, said Thursday the project is fully funded in the draft 10-year plan. He said the department is prepared to work with the towns to advance it.

DOT Repair Work Will Close Plymouth Road This Week

Sep 28, 2015

The Department of Transportation will conduct road work in Plymouth this week.

DOT crews will conduct repairs on Fairground Road starting Tuesday morning.

The road will be closed to vehicles for up to four days from Welch Road west to US Route 3.

Following the repairs, the state says traffic on Fairground Road will run on one lane only. 

DOT Roadwork Set For Monday Night In Newington

Sep 21, 2015

The state Department of Transportation is planning work tonight in Newington.

Officials say crews will put up a new overhead sign structure on the Spaulding Turnpike between Exit 4 and the Little Bay Bridge.

Work on the project is expected to take a single night. Crews will begin at about 9 pm, with temporary lane closures and rolling roadblocks in both directions possible until about 4 am Tuesday.

new Hampshire Department of Transportation

The costs are in for repairing the sinkhole that opened up last month on northbound Interstate 93 in Concord.

The Concord Monitor reports the state’s cost for highway repairs comes to about $95 thousand dollars. The city of Concord is spending about $125 thousand dollars to fix its drainage system. The sinkhole opened after the collapse of a drainpipe underneath the road.

flickr/Virginia Department of Transportation

New Hampshire E-ZPass customers now have more time to replace their old transponders before losing out on the discounted toll rate.

State transportation officials say those with non-working transponders will be charged the full rate after Nov. 1.

The department pushed back the original date of Sept. 1, after overwhelming customer response and long lines at the state’s three E-ZPass service centers.

New Hampshire Gas Prices Still Dropping

Aug 10, 2015
Via Flickr CC

Gas prices may continue to fall in New Hampshire for much of the rest of 2015.

The latest survey of gas prices from GasBuddy.com Sunday showed a median price of $2.53 per gallon. That’s 6 cents per gallon cheaper than prices of a week ago, and 17 cents per gallon below those of a month ago.

Crews To Replace Clear Stream Bridge In Millsfield

Aug 10, 2015

The state Department of Transportation is set to begin work Monday on replacing a bridge on Route 26 in Millsfield.

DOT engineer Andy Hall says the bridge over Clear Stream has been showing signs of wear.

“We’re going to repair some undermining underneath the wing walls of the bridge,” Hall says. “Then we’re going to remove the bridge, a half at a time, the top of it, and put back new beams and a new bridge deck.”

The work is expected to continue through November. There will be one-way alternating traffic directed by temporary signals throughout the project.

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

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.

Durham To Add Electric Car Charging Station

Jul 20, 2015
mariordo via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/sybjF

Durham is set to install a new charging station for electric cars.

Town officials say the dual-port station will be installed at the Pettee Brook parking lot, as part of a repaving project that’s set to begin this week.

According to Durham officials, the charging station is being funded by a $5,000 state grant. They say the University of New Hampshire will also contribute toward the costs.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster is calling for a long-term transportation funding bill to pass Congress.

With the Route 4 bridge construction project in West Lebanon as a backdrop, Kuster on Monday said essential roadwork in New Hampshire and around the country could be threatened if Congress fails to pass a funding bill by the end of the month.

Kuster, a Democrat, said without funding, road and bridge projects could come to a halt during the busy summer building season, putting construction crews out of work.

New Hampshire gas prices appear to be stabilizing after climbing in recent weeks. 

  Dan Goodman of Triple A Northern New England says the onset of summer often leads to a rise in gas prices. This month U.S. consumers saw the highest gas prices of the year, reaching an average of $2.80 per gallon.

But he says U.S. production has increased, as has production overseas.

“The world leaders in crude exports – Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations – are increasing oil production to record levels,” he says.

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill that could help pave the way for public-private funding of commuter rail is now awaiting New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan's signature. 

Efforts to bring commuter rail from Boston up to Nashua and Manchester hit a snag this year when lawmakers chose not to include $4 million in the capital budget to further study the proposal. Supporters of the project hope to continue exploring other funding options, including public-private partnerships. 

Will Marlow via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/ccwMsS

Aphonia, flop sweat, mic fright. Call it what you will, stage fright can be crippling for some performers. On today’s show: a pianist delves into the history of performance anxiety, and her own struggle to overcome it

Then, between recent spikes in bicycle commuters and bike-friendly infrastructure, arguments over who owns the road are commonplace, but hardly new. We’ll take a look at the bicycle’s fraught history with pedestrians, automobiles and even horse-drawn carriages.  

NHPR / Michael Brindley

 

Officials say funding is in place for the long-awaited demolition and replacement of Concord's 100-year-old Sewalls Falls Bridge.

The Concord Monitor reports City Manager Tom Aspell and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation came to an agreement over stalled funding for the project Monday. The deal will allow Concord to build the new bridge and eventually be reimbursed as promised by the federal government.

A grant from the federal Highway Trust Fund will pay $10 million. That's 80 percent of the cost. The city will pay the remaining 20 percent.

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