NH News
4:04 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Transportation Bill Hits Traffic Jam

You can add transportation to the long list of issues hitting a roadblock in Washington. Funding for New Hampshire’s I-93 expansion may get stuck in the beltway traffic jam.

Earlier this month, the US Senate passed a $109-billion transportation bill.

The legislation includes funds critical for the completion of the I-93 widening project in southern New Hampshire.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen says the money will help create 6,000 new jobs in the State’s hard-hit construction industry.

"There is some real urgency to getting this done," says Senator Shaheen, a Democrat.

Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, the measure has stalled in the House, where Republicans are balking at the price tag.

Instead, the House is attempting to push forward a short-term extension of the current bill, which expires this weekend. If a deal can’t be reached, current highway projects could be postponed, and the Federal government stands to lose $110-million per day in gasoline taxes.

The New Hampshire delegation is split. Representative Charlie Bass supports the Senate’s version.  

Republican Frank Guinta agrees short-term fixes aren’t the solution. But he prefers that to any other options on the table right now.