TRIP: Show N.H. the money to fix failing bridges, roads
“The TRIP report findings validate why the state established the Commission to Study Future Sustainable Revenue Sources for Funding Improvements to State and Municipal Highways and Bridges,” said state representative Candace Bouchard. “Current state funding is inadequate to keep up with routine maintenance, let alone finish widening I-93 and construct other needed new transportation projects. Transportation is jobs – construction jobs and the moving of goods and services. It is imperative that Congress do its part and adequately fund surface transportation with a timely and predictable program.”
Last year’s federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more commonly known as “the stimulus,” provides nearly $129 million in funding for highway and bridge improvements and $13 million for public transit improvements in New Hampshire.
This funding has served as an important down payment on needed road, highway, bridge and transit improvements but is not sufficient to allow the state to proceed with numerous projects needed to modernize its surface transportation system. The federal surface transportation program, which expires on December 31, 2010, remains a critical source of funding for road and bridge repairs and transit improvements in New Hampshire. It will be critical that Congress crafts and approves a new federal surface transportation program that could include a significant boost in funding for highway and transit improvements in New Hampshire.
“While the state has put a combination of federal and state funds to good use in the past, in the coming years, many additional needed projects will remain stranded on the drawing board because of insufficient funding,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “It is critical that the state adequately fund its transportation system and that Congress produces a timely and adequately funded federal surface transportation program. Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”
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