Highways

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Several dozen people attended a public hearing Monday evening in Portsmouth to weigh in on a proposed increase in the state’s highway tolls.

Doug Kerr/Flickr

Members of the Executive Council could vote next week on the first broad increase in the state’s highway tolls in more than a decade. The plan would spare in-state commuters the brunt of the hikes.

Under a proposal, the cash toll rate on I-93 in Hooksett would go from $1.00 to $1.50. On the Spaulding Turnpike, the Dover and Rochester tolls would rise to $1.00 from $0.75. In Hampton, the Interstate 95 toll would increase from $2.00 to $2.50.

NHPR Flickr

It's been two years this week since New Hampshire's hands-free driving law banning the use of hand-held devices behind the wheel went into effect.

Major Matt Shapiro of the New Hampshire State Police was one of the leaders behind this law, aimed at getting drivers's eyes away from their phones and on the road.  Speaking on The Exchange, Shapiro says there is clear evidence it's working. 

New Hampshire's Roads and Bridges

Feb 21, 2017
NHPR

Transportation infrastructure is a perennial issue in the Granite State:  from aging bridges to annoying potholes to highways and byways in need of repair. Now, Governor Sununu's budget includes an Infrastructure Revitalization Fund that sends money to communities to address this. And President Trump has promised a major effort as well.  


The American Trucker: A Playlist

Mar 7, 2016
Kent Kanouse via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5oEJxb

Picture this: the nation listens spell-bound - to a stand-off on the interstate between state police, the national guard and an organized group...helicopters swirl in the sky. The rebels are angry, they're fortified by heavy machinery, a truckload of explosives and are threatening to break through every blockade the cops set up. 

Travis Estell / Flickr/cc

Recent proposed cuts to New Hampshire's transportation budget caused outrage in the Statehouse, and even a Republican-backed effort to raise the gas tax. Meanwhile, other states are also struggling to keep up with road and bridge repair, with some trying new ways to pay for infrastructure.

Guests:

Ian Ligget via Flickr CC

Legislative negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on a 10-year highway plan for New Hampshire.

The House and Senate still must vote on Friday's agreement, which is one of two measures aimed at making needed highway improvements. Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a 4-cent increase on the gas and diesel tax into law this week. Tax proceeds will pay $200 million of the $250 million needed to finish expanding Interstate 93 from the Massachusetts border to Manchester.

DOT Commissioner, Chris Clement

Jan 13, 2014
nh.gov/dot

A lot of government officials like to speak up about what they’ve accomplished, but our guest today, Christopher Clement, has been speaking up for what he has not been able to do. For the last two and a half years, Clement has served as New Hampshire’s Transportation commissioner, and during that time he’s expressed his frustration over numbers that he says speak for themselves. The department is paving 200 fewer miles of roads each year, there are 145 “red-listed” bridges and nearly 40% of our roads are considered in poor condition.

A legislative stalemate over raising the gas tax and legalizing a casino could drive highway contractors out of New Hampshire to look for work in nearby states willing to fund infrastructure improvements.

The New Hampshire House passed a gas tax this year that the Senate killed. At the same time, the Senate passed a casino bill that the House rejected.

Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement said this past week that he worries funding won't be available to finish the state's top priority — expanding Interstate 93.

jphilipg via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Photo: Roger Wood

Governor John Lynch got a first hand look at two major projects on the Spaulding Turnpike in Southern New Hampshire.  

The Governor personally toured the expansion projects now underway on the pike on the Northern end in Rochester, and the Southern end between Newington and Portsmouth. The widening projects are intended to relieve traffic congestion on both ends of the Spaulding, especially at the Little Bay Bridge over Great Bay.