NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESSES AND STAKEHOLDERS CALL FOR IMMEDIATE PASSAGE OF FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION BILL

New federal surface transportation bill necessary to vital projects like I-93

March 07, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) –U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today forwarded a letter to Congressional leaders from 56 New Hampshire businesses and other transportation stakeholders, calling for immediate renewal of America’s surface transportation programs.  The letter comes as the U.S. Senate debates a critical transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

It has been more than two years since the last federal transportation bill expired and new legislation is needed to ensure continued investment in vital highway and transit infrastructure.

“Our state offers many examples of transportation needs that could be addressed by such a measure.  We have more than two million daily trips over bridges rated as structurally deficient.  Our most important highway, Interstate 93, carries nearly twice the daily traffic it was designed to hold.  Nearly one third of New Hampshire’s highway miles require major rehabilitation work,” the letter reads.

Passing a new federal surface transportation bill will move vital projects like I-93 forward and create approximately one million American jobs in construction and manufacturing, sectors badly hurt by the recession. 

Shaheen has spoken in Washington and New Hampshire about the need to pass a federal transportation bill to fund critical highway and transit programs, such as I-93.

The text of the letter is below.

March 7, 2012

The Honorable Harry Reid                                        
Majority Leader                                                         
503 Hart Senate Office Building                               
United States Senate                                                 
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnelll
Minority Leader
284 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate                                                 
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

We write to express our support for the timely passage of legislation to reform and reauthorize America’s surface transportation programs.  It has been more than two years since the last federal transportation bill expired and new legislation is badly needed to ensure continued investment in our vital highway and transit infrastructure.

Our state offers many examples of transportation needs that could be addressed by such a measure.  We have more than two million daily trips over bridges rated as structurally deficient.  Our most important highway, Interstate 93, carries nearly twice the daily traffic it was designed to hold.  Nearly one third of New Hampshire’s highway miles require major rehabilitation work.

We are particularly anxious to resolve uncertainty regarding the I-93 project.  The project to increase the capacity of I-93 to meet surging demand is moving forward at a crawl, in part due to the uncertainty created by the lack of federal transportation reauthorization legislation.  The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is currently unable to issue $115 million in bonds to widen I-93 and make travel on the road safer and more convenient.  Instead, the state must wait on this critical investment until the federal government provides its part of the commitment for stable, long-term funding to transportation programs.

Passing a new federal surface transportation bill will move vital projects like I-93 forward and create approximately one million American jobs in construction and manufacturing, sectors so badly hurt by the recession.  Furthermore, according to economists at Moody’s, badly needed investments to improve America’s infrastructure return $1.59 for each dollar invested.

We know that building and maintaining quality infrastructure is absolutely critical to our future economic vitality, yet more than 870 days have passed since our last federal transportation bill expired.  We were encouraged to see the Senate start work on MAP-21, and urge you to focus on bipartisan ways to improve America’s ailing transportation infrastructure as the Senate continues to debate this important legislation. 

Thank you for your continued efforts to pass a new federal transportation reauthorization bill.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Shaheen                                                          
United States Senator                                                                                    

University of New Hampshire

Chris Clement, Commissioner, NH Department of Transportation

George Campbell, Former Commissioner, NH Department of Transportation

George Bald, Commissioner, NH Department of Resources and Economic Development

Peter Hoe Burling, State Senator retired, Member and Former Chair, NH Rail Transit Authority

Candace Bouchard, State Representative, Concord, NH

Jim Roche, President, New Hampshire Business and Industry Association

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Bill Parnell, President, Greater Derry - Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

Chris Nicoli, Chairman of the Board, Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce

Mark Brewer, Airport Director, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

Michael King, Executive Director, North Country Council, Bethlehem, NH

Cynthia Copeland, Executive Director, Strafford Regional Planning Commission, Rochester, NH

Christine Walker, Executive Director, Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, Lebanon, NH

Kerrie Diers, Executive Director, Nashua Regional Planning Commission, Nashua, NH

David Preece, Executive Director, Southern NH Regional Planning Commission, Manchester, NH

Cliff Sinnott, Executive Director, Rockingham Planning Commission, Exeter, NH

Tim Murphy, Executive Director, Southwest Regional Planning Commission, Keene, NH

Mike Tardiff, Executive Director, Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission, Concord, NH

Kimon Koulet, Executive Director, Lakes Region Planning Commission, Laconia, NH

John Anderson, Town Administrator, Derry, NH

George Sioras, Planning Director, Derry, NH

Edward Garone, Chief of Police, Derry, NH

George Klauber, Fire Chief, Derry, NH

Mike Gagnon, Battalion Chief, Fire Department, Derry NH

Mike Fowler, Public Works Director Derry, NH

Derry Town Council, Derry, NH

Dave Caron, Town Manager, Londonderry, NH

Bob Belmore, City Manager, Somersworth, NH

Jim Jalbert, President, C&J Lines, Portsmouth, NH

Rad Nichols, Executive Director, COAST Bus, Dover, NH

Gary Abbott, Executive Vice President, Associated General Contractors of NH

Christian Zimmerman, President, Pike Industries, Laconia, NH

Dale Sackett, Vice President, Beck & Bellucci, Inc., Franklin, NH

Jessica Michie, CEO, Michie Corporation, Henniker, NH

Christopher Bean, President, CLE Engineers, Manchester, NH

Richard and Mark Charbonneau, Continental Paving, Inc., Londonderry, NH

John Bousquet, Vice President, R.M. Piper, Inc., Plymouth, NH

Darren Benoit, Senior Transportation Manager, McFarland-Johnson, Inc., Concord, NH

Michael M. Reilly, Division Manager, Brox Industries, Hudson, NH

Phillip Kendall, Highway Group Manager, TY LIN International, Concord, NH

Paul Armano, Civil Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Manchester, NH

American Council of Engineering Companies of New Hampshire

Harry Brown, President, North Country OHRV Coalition, Stewartstown, NH

Clay Hinds, President, Colebrook Ski-Bees Snowmobile Club, Colebrook, NH

Keith Landry, President, Great North Woods Riders ATV Club, Pittsburg, NH

Troy Burns, North Country ATV Club, President, Stratford, NH

Craig Washburn, President, Metallak ATV Club, Colebrook, NH

Bernie Mercier, President, Millsfield ATV Club, Berlin, NH

Peter Rouleau, President, North Country Chamber of Commerce, Colebrook, NH

Curt Shaw, President, Pittsburg Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club, Pittsburg, NH

Henry Sanschagrin, President, Presidential OHRV Club, Gorham, NH

Silver Riders, Berlin, NH

Dave Brewer, President, Stratford Nighthawks, Stratford, NH

Kevin Drew, President, Swift Diamond Riders Snowmobile Club, Conway, NH

Frank Roy, President, Umbagog ATV Club, Errol, NH

Peter Lacastrum, President, Umbagog Snowmobile Association, Errol, NH

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