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Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2016

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Submits Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan
Fully Balanced Plan Completes I-93, Accelerates Exit 4A Project, Replaces Hampton River Bridge; Allows Commuter Rail to Advance and Increases Funding for Red-Listed Bridges and Bridge Preservation

CONCORD – Continuing her efforts to ensure a solid, modern transportation infrastructure that sets the foundation for long-term economic growth, Governor Maggie Hassan today submitted her recommended Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for 2017-2026.

"A solid and modern transportation infrastructure is critical to the success of our people and businesses, and the Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan is an important opportunity to build on our bipartisan progress over the last several years,” Governor Hassan said. “This plan advances critical transportation goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility living within our projected revenues."

After holding 16 public hearings and four public work sessions across the state, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) submitted its recommendations to the Governor in December. Those recommendations include increasing funding for red-listed bridges and bridge preservation; completing the widening of Interstate 93; beginning the first phase of widening Route 106 in front of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway to 2018; accelerating construction of Exit 4A in Londonderry and Derry to 2019; and resurfacing an additional 200 miles of roads per year and replacing or rehabilitating an additional 23 red-listed bridges. The plan also focuses on preserving good roads now to avoid more expensive projects later.

As the Commission was finishing its work in December, the United States Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, providing additional funding for New Hampshire. As a result, the Governor's plan includes several additional recommendations.

In addition to GACIT’s original recommendations, the Governor’s plan also accelerates by two years the East Hollis Street improvements and recommends a full replacement of the Hampton River Bridge project as opposed to a rehabilitation project. The Governor's plan also has a strong focus on addressing deficient bridges by increasing the Bridge Preservation Program by $5 million per year in Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 and adding $5 million per year to the state’s Red List Bridge program in Fiscal Years 2022 through 2024.

The Governor's plan also utilizes $4 million in available Federal Transit Authority Funds for environmental and engineering assessment work for the Capital Corridor Rail project, which was recommended by the Capital Corridor Rail Study as the next step required to move the project forward.

"Commuter rail will improve access to the entire region and provide new transportation and housing opportunities that 21st century workers and families are looking for, spurring economic development and creating jobs," Governor Hassan said. "The business community continues to call on us to take action on this vital project, and this plan will help us move forward."

Pursuant to RSA 228.99 and RSA 240 of the Laws of New Hampshire, the Governor is required to submit her recommended Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan by January 15 this year. The plan now goes to the State Legislature for consideration, beginning with the House of Representatives.

"We must continue working together to strengthen our transportation infrastructure, which will help set the foundation for long-term economic growth," Governor Hassan said. "I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to continue addressing our transportation challenges so that our people, businesses and communities can grow and thrive."

The Governor’s recommended 2017-2026 Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1lb7YVh  pdf file.

Governor Hassan’s full letter to the House Public Works and Highways Committee is below:

The Honorable Gene Chandler
Chairman
House Public Works and Highways Committee
Legislative Office Building, Room 201
Concord, NH 03301

Dear Chairman Chandler and Members of the Committee:

Pursuant to RSA 228:99 and RSA 240 of the Laws of New Hampshire, enclosed are the copies of the draft 2017-2026 Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan for the State of New Hampshire.

The Governor's Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) developed its draft plan after holding 16 public hearings throughout the state and four public work sessions. The commission heard and considered testimony from town officials, representatives of private industry and business leaders, regional planning commissioners, legislators and the general public.

The draft recommended by GACIT takes a number of important steps to address transportation goals and needs across the state, aiming to balance and prioritize the competing needs of the state while remaining within the limits of existing funding. It invests in preserving good roads to avoid more expensive repairs in the future. It increases funding for red-listed bridges and bridge preservation to extend bridge life. In addition, it completes the expansion of Interstate 93, begins the first phase of widening Route 106 in front of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2018, and moves up the Exit 4A project in Londonderry and Derry – which represents one of the most significant economic development opportunities in the state – to 2019. It will also allow us to begin to resurface an additional 200 miles of roads per year and replace or rehabilitate an additional 23 red-listed bridges with savings from the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

As the Commission was finishing its work in December, the United States Congress passed a new highway spending plan, resulting in some additional funding for the State of New Hampshire. With that funding, the plan that I am submitting to you today includes the following additional projects while ensuring that the plan is fully balanced within current revenue and cost estimates. This proposal: advances to 2017-2018 the East Hollis Street improvement project that has been in the planning stages for years; recommends a full replacement of the Hampton River.

Bridge instead of a rehabilitation; increases the Bridge Preservation Program by $5 million per year in Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020; and adds $5 million per year to the state's Red List Bridge Program for Fiscal Years 2022 through 2024.

In addition, this plan uses $4 million in available Federal Transit Authority Funds for environmental and engineering assessment work for the Capital Corridor Rail project, which is the necessary next step in our efforts to bring commuter rail up from Massachusetts to Nashua and Manchester. Commuter rail will improve access to the entire region and provide new transportation and housing opportunities that 21st century workers and families are looking for, spurring economic development and creating jobs. The business community continues to call on us to take action on this vital project, and this plan will help us move forward.

A modern, safe transportation infrastructure is critical to the success of our people and businesses, and we have made important progress over the last several years. We have opened the new Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth, and our work to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge is ongoing. The recent openings of Broad Street Parkway in Nashua and Pettengill Road in Londonderry are attracting new businesses and investments and helping create jobs. And the bipartisan transportation funding plan that we passed in 2014 continues to advance critical road and bridge projects across the state and is integral to the long-overdue completion of Interstate 93.

In order to build on that progress, we must continue working together to strengthen our transportation infrastructure, which will help set the foundation for long-term economic growth. The plan that I am submitting to you today is an important step forward in those efforts, advancing critical transportation goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility. I look forward to continuing to work with you and the entire legislature to continue addressing our transportation challenges so that our people, businesses and communities can grow and thrive.

With every good wish,

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor

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