We sit down with New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement. It’s been a busy summer for him. He’s overseen the celebrated opening of the Memorial Bridge…and continues to search for money…to complete the widening of I-93. Meanwhile, there’s talk of freight rail expansion in the North Country…and new passenger airline service coming to the Seacoast.
Christopher Clement - Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.
As lawmakers consider raising the state's gas tax, you may be wondering: are New Hampshire's roads getting worse? Why are they getting harder to pay for? And, does it really matter if we have a few more potholes?
NHPR's newsroom answers those questions in this animation:
Today, we sit down with the Department of Transportation Commissioner, Christopher Clement, covering everything from road and toll projects to ways of funding transportation improvements and taking a look at what Commissioner Clement hopes to accomplish in 2013.
Christopher Clement - Commissioner of the NH Department of Transportation
It’s been an uneasy relationship, with cyclists saying cars rule the roads, and drivers saying cyclists flout the law. In recent years, these groups have made some headway when it comes to relations, with more bike lanes and more education on avoiding collisions. But conflicts still flare up and many say there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Another bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery Maine is undergoing emergency repairs.
Side railings on the Sarah Long, or Middle Bridge are so rusty; they present a hazard to any vehicle that accidentally slides into them. So, the two states are taking emergency measures to protect motorists.
Bill Boynton, with New Hampshire’s Department of Transportation, says that steel Jersey Barriers will be installed along the length of the 2800 foot span.
New Hampshire’s new Transportation Commissioner, Christopher Clement came to the job at a tough time for the department. There were lots of projects on the table but not a lot of money to complete them with. Today, we talk with him about his priorities and some of the hot topics his department faces from the expansion of I-93 to the debate over rail to those red-listed bridges.
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.