Infrastructure

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.

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:

Alex1961 via Flickr CC

New Hampshire transportation officials say a $41 million budget cut proposed by House budget writers would have dire consequences on public safety and result in more than 300 layoffs.

As voters head to Town Meetings on Tuesday one of the major issues in the North Country will be infrastructure repairs. That’s an issue Kevin McKinnon, who runs Colebrook’s water department, knows all too well...

A few years ago McKinnon was looking at a hydrant that had recently been removed from Main Street.

He was chipping through decades of paint to get to a part when a date began to emerge: 1884.

“I was a little shocked.”

 It was a clear reminder that Colebrook’s system was installed around 1880.

Liz West via Flickr CC

A ceremony is scheduled to mark the start of construction at an aging bridge that connects New Hampshire and Maine.

The 70-year-old Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine. It is rated structurally deficient.

On Monday at 10 a.m., dignitaries from both states are gathering at the Kittery Community Center at Frisbee Common to mark the official start of the project. Members of the public will have a chance to sign a commemorative construction trestle that will be installed on the project later in the week.

Bev Norton via Flickr CC

Outgoing Department of Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement says fixing a long-standing deficit in the state's highway fund should be a critical priority for lawmakers this session in order to keep roads and bridges safe for drivers.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Crews on Manchester’s west side are working Friday to repair the damage after a 16 inch water main let go Thursday night. The burst pipe led to the evacuation of nearly two-dozen residents.

Repairs to the water main wrapped up around seven Friday morning.

But City Water Works Director David Paris says they’re pressure testing the pipe before bringing it back to full force. Crews are now spending Friday removing chunks of asphalt and refilling the hole left behind by about one million gallons of water that flowed down city streets.

Voters in the town of Columbia, New Hampshire, will be asked to approve nearly $200,000 in bonds to install a bridge before winter.

A combination of heavy rain, snowmelt and mountain runoff caused brooks and streams to flood in the spring. The bridge on Meridan Hill Road was washed out, temporarily stranding 13 families who live above the bridge.

The Caledonian Record reports a temporary bridge was installed, but selectmen say that bridge will be dangerous to maintain and cross in the winter.

A North County town is expected to get a $278,000 grant to make repairs to a broken water main suspended from a historic covered bridge across the Ammonoosuc River.  The 100-year-old cast iron pipe suspended on the underbelly of the Northumberland Covered Bridge feeds wells and storage tanks. It broke in April, and only temporary fixes have been made.  The New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority approved an Emergency Community Development Block Grant for the repairs in Northumberland.  The solution requires drilling to install 300-plus feet of new pipe beneath the riverbed.

The town of Salem, New Hampshire, is dealing with its third water main break affecting Route 28 in a month.

The problem is slowing down Morning morning traffic, and is expected to affect the evening commute, too. Some traffic has been detoured.

The break was reported at about 2:30 a.m. on Route 28, in front of 265 South Broadway.

Last month, there were two water main breaks at the intersection of Routes 28 and 97, in an area of town called "The Depot."

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

On a newly built bridge near interstate 93, Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law the first increase in the state’s gas tax in more than two decades.


Gov. Maggie Hassan is visiting a bridge in Berlin, N.H., to talk about the need to strengthen investment in the state's transportation's infrastructure.

She's visiting the Hillside Avenue Bridge on Wednesday. She says the replacement of the bridge is an important project for traffic, safety and commerce in the area. Hassan said the replacement would be accelerated by the transportation funding bill that recently passed the Senate.

The bridge visit is taking place Wednesday afternoon.

Ella Nilson for NHPR

A proposal to redesign a road damaged by flooding in a Lebanon, N.H., neighborhood calls for residents to surrender parts of their front yards.

The city's plan calls for larger culverts and ditches to be installed along Slayton Hill Road. Construction would start next year.

A total of 15 inches of rain fell in the area in June and July. Five inches of rain fell over two days.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

 We want you to send us pictures of the worst roads you have to drive on

Flikr Creative Commons / Mortmer

The National Science Foundation has given The University of New Hampshire $750,000 to coordinate the study of the impacts of Climate Change on roads and bridges.

The grant money will establish a network of Northeast climate scientists and civil engineers led by UNH researchers.

Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.

Pounding Pavement In Search Of A Smoother Drive

Feb 20, 2012

A sweeping transportation bill being debated in Congress addresses how to prop up dwindling funds for the nation's aging highways. States with their own budget shortfalls are facing the same challenge. In California, researchers are trying to stretch those resources by developing next-generation pavements that are quieter and more fuel-efficient to drive on.

Photo by F H Mira, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

“Critical infrastructure” once referred to things like roads, bridges and power plants. But today, the term includes the unseen digital networks that control our visible world. An easy way to protect this infrastructure from hackers is to simply keep it disconnected from the internet, but it turns out many of those systems indeed are connected to the web, unbeknownst to the people that operate them. Joining me to talk about this is Kim Zetter, senior writer for Wired.

The state commissioner of transportation warns that if the federal government moves ahead with a plan to cut $40 million of New Hampshire’s yearly highway funds—the completion of I-93 will be placed on hold, indefinitely.  One portion that remains unfinished is exit 3 near Windham.

Many businesses there say the uncertainty of I-93’s future is hurting the local economy.