AASHTO Journal, 15 February 2013
New Hampshire faces an annual funding shortfall of $74 million, with over one-third of the state’s major roads in poor condition and a similar proportion of bridges in need of repair or replacement, the nonprofit organization TRIP asserts in a report released Tuesday.
“As New Hampshire looks to achieve further economic growth, the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways, and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses,” according to the report, “New Hampshire Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility.”
This is the second report on the Granite State that TRIP has released. The first report, “Moving New Hampshire Forward: The Condition & Funding of New Hampshire’s Roads, Bridges, & Transit Systems,” came out in June 2010 (see related AASHTO Journal story).
The current report underscores how 37 percent of New Hampshire’s state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition and that – at the current level of funding – this number is now projected to increase to 43 percent by 2016. The report also highlights how 31 percent of New Hampshire’s bridges either show major deterioration or do not meet current design standards. The report further asserts that the number of state-maintained bridges classified as poor for one or more structural elements is expected to increase by 15 percent by 2016 under current funding levels.
The report also states that those roads in need of significant repair cost New Hampshire drivers about $333 million altogether, or $323 per driver, annually for expenses such as accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repairs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. This is an increase from the figure of $267 million statewide, or an average of $259 per New Hampshire driver, per year that was found in the 2010 report.
The backlog to repair New Hampshire’s state-maintained roads, highways, and bridges in poor condition is $1.3 billion, according to the report, while the vehicle miles per traveled for the state are projected to grow by 25 percent by 2030.
“The TRIP report highlights the very messages that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation has been conveying for some time now,” says New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement. “Our roads and bridges are the backbone our economy and our way of life. Without additional investment, it will be impossible to maintain our highway system at its current levels, let alone address the backlog of much-needed work.”
The 20-page report is available here.