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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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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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner, Christopher Clement

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.

Guest:

Christopher Clement - Commissioner of the NH Department of Transportation

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All Things Considered
6:07 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Plane in I-93 Crash Once Made Emergency Landing in Nashua

Interstate 93 in Hooksett, the scene of a plane crash in which two people were killed.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown, NHPR

Two people are dead after their plane crashed alongside Interstate 93 in Hooksett.

NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown was on the scene earlier today. He tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about what police have confirmed about the Doris and Herman Hassenger, the people killed in the crash, and about the plane's history.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

UNH To Lead Study Of Climate Change's Impact On Roads And Bridges

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.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue August 21, 2012

On the Road, with Cars and Bicycles

Andrew Karjuta Flickr Creative Commons

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.  

Guests:

Larry Keniston: Intermodal Facilities Engineer, Rail and Transit Bureau, N.H. Department of Transportation.

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NH News
7:00 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Greyhound Cuts Could Leave Riders Stranded

Susan VonStade waits for the Greyhound bus in Keene.
Todd Bookman NHPR

Greyhound used to be the symbol of American mobility; of transportation for all. To prove it, they made killer commercials.

…Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us !! America is discovering the comfort and convenience of Greyhound…   [jingle]

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NH News
1:59 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Major Accident Shuts Down Parts of Route 101

Parts of Route 101 are closed following a serious accident near Auburn.

NHPR's Dan Gorenstein was in the area; he says state officials closed the road after Exit 2 and traffic was at a standstill.

WMUR is reporting a person was trapped in a car, and that officials were keeping the road closed to bring emergency vehicles and a rescue helicopter onto the scene.

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.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Sarah Long Bridge Side Railings Hazardous

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.

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National Security
4:40 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Cybersecurity Bill: Vital Need Or Just More Rules?

The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities in Idaho Falls, Idaho, are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. U.S. security officials and members of Congress are convinced a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

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.

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