How federal funds will bolster NH infrastructure

  • U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen chats with Matthew Low of Hoyle Tanner & Associates and Manchester’s chief engineer, Owen Friend-Gray, at a press conference held by the congressional delegation to hail passage of the bipartisan federal infrastructure package. Carol Robidoux / Manchester Ink Link

NH Business Review
Published: 11/29/2021 10:05:54 AM

Now that President Joe Biden has signed the trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill, well over a billion of those dollars are headed to New Hampshire.

The funding package will address a wide range of needs in New Hampshire, including bridge, highway and sewer projects, broadband, airports and clean energy initiatives.

On Nov. 9, following approval by the House but before the President signed the bill, members of the state’s all-Democrat congressional delegation gathered in Manchester at the red-listed Amoskeag Bridge to hail passage of the measure, which faced a long and winding road itself before approval.

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-1st District, called the bill’s passage “a watershed moment” for the country and detailed the back-and-forth among lawmakers in Washington, D.C., that went on over “the better part of the last two terms” to finally hammer out the agreement.

“This is real, we’re about to see shovels go in the ground and work getting done here in New Hampshire,” Pappas said.

Shaheen called the measure a “once-in-a-lifetime” investment in the country’s infrastructure, adding that the breakdown of how much each municipality will receive is still being sorted out. She stressed that the bill will have a major impact as an economic stimulus by creating good jobs and enhancing U.S. competitiveness.

Topping the funding is an estimated $1.1 billion over five years to repair highways in the state, and another $225 million for bridge repair and replacement over five years. That would help to address many of the state’s over 300 “red-list” bridges, which means they’ve been identified as structurally deficient, as well as some 700 miles of highway that are in “poor condition.”

New Hampshire would also get $418 million to improve water infrastructure, which would help address problems like lead pipes and contamination of drinking water.

Another $125 million would pay for improving public transportation options around the state, including a proposed commuter rail line linking Boston with Nashua, Manchester and possibly Concord — a project that’s already in the design phase.

The bill also includes $100 million to expand broadband across New Hampshire, focusing on underserved rural communities in the northern and western parts of the state.

In addition, the bill sets aside $45.6 million for infrastructure development at New Hampshire airports, $5.6 million to help in wildfire protection and $12.4 million to beef up the state’s cybersecurity.

Jeff Feingold can be reached at jfeingold@nhbr.com.These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit collaborativenh.org.



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