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

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The Sidebar
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

The Sidebar: N.H. Legislators Will Make Another Run At Raising Gas Tax

Granite State motorists are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, which means they’re buying less gas. Motorists purchased almost 60 million fewer gallons of gas in 2012 than they did in 2005. That translated into an $11 million decrease in revenue.
Credit Department of Safety Road Toll Bureau

A year after failing to agree on how to pay for a long list of road and bridge improvements, lawmakers will take another shot at bolstering the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure this session.

Several bills are on the table, including one that would channel proceeds from a casino into the state’s highway fund.

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The Exchange
1:27 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

DOT Commissioner, Chris Clement

Credit 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.

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The Exchange
12:14 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

N.H. Roads: How Did We Get Here?

New Hampshire is in one of the most costly parts of the country for winter road maintenance. Plowing costs often eat at paving budgets.
Credit NHDOT

As discussed on The Exchange this morning, the state legislature is gearing up once again for a debate about raising the gas tax. One big issue behind the debate is the deteriorating state of New Hampshire's roads.

Here is a look back at some reporting on the issue by Emily Corwin last spring, including this video explainer, and below, five reasons our roads are deteriorating.

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Newscast
7:54 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Icy Roads Lead To Accidents, Road Closures

Some areas of New Hampshire are dealing with icy road conditions, as freezing rain continues through the morning.

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NH News
10:24 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Spaulding Turnpike's Exit 3 Closing For Two Weeks In January

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation says it will close the Spaulding Turnpike Exit 3 southbound off-ramp in Newington for two weeks in January.

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On the Political Front
8:33 am
Mon December 9, 2013

On The Political Front For Dec. 9

    

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses discussion in the Statehouse about expanded gambling and lack of funds for highway projects, as well as Republican Bob Smith, a former U.S. Senator, declaring his candidacy for his old seat.

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NH News
3:46 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Merrimack Town Councilors Vote In Favor Of Suing State Over Toll Booths

This toll booth catches drivers as they get on the F.E. Everett Turnpike heading south from Merrimack. There are similar toll booths at the other two exit ramps in town.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Town councilors in Merrimack have voted in favor of pursuing a lawsuit against the state in an attempt to get relief from toll booths.

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NH News
1:54 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

House Committee Rejects Bill To Remove Merrimack Toll Booth

The toll booth at the Exit 11 ramp getting onto the F.E. Everett Turnpike heading south in Merrimack.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

A House committee has voted unanimously to reject the latest effort to remove at least one of the toll booths along the F.E. Everett Turnpike exit ramps in Merrimack.

The 15-0 vote came during a Public Works and Highways committee meeting on Wednesday.

Former Senate President Peter Bragdon sponsored the bill, which would have removed the ramp tolls at Exit 12.

But committee members say the issue should instead be discussed as part of the state’s 10-year highway improvement plan.

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NH News
10:42 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Road To Be Redesigned After Heavy Flooding In Upper Valley

Governor Hassan speaks with officials in areas affected by flash flooding in the Upper Valley in June
Credit 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.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue August 27, 2013

New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement

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. 

Guest:

  • Christopher Clement - Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.
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NH News
11:12 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Video - N.H. Roads: How We Got Here

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:

NH News
1:38 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

If Bumpy Roads Make You Grumpy, Click Here

South St. in Concord is on the state's list of roads in "poor" condition.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

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

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