(Concord) The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy today released a report outlining how the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s recent Wish List of “shovel ready” projects differs from the state’s Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan. The Bartlett Center also studied two alternative plans for spending any federal transportation dollars headed to New Hampshire which make fixing the state’s Red List bridges a top priority.
“The New Hampshire Legislature has already set out its priorities for roads and bridges, but the DOT Wish List doesn’t really reflect those choices,” said Grant Bosse, lead investigative reporter for the Bartlett Center, who authored the report.
The DOT Wish List totals $535 million, including $300 million for a commuter rail line between Manchester and Lowell, MA. By redirecting money from this project towards existing priorities, the Bartlett Center finds that New Hampshire could fix 75% of its Red List bridges. By reprioritizing the entire DOT Wish List, New Hampshire lawmakers could not only fix every Red List bridge in the state, but also fix twelve additional bridges that the DOT argues should be added to the Red List, and still have over $100 million for other transportation projects.
"New Hampshire should stick to its transportation priorities, and not rush into a use-it-or-lose-it attitude,” Bosse added. “If Congress gives the Granite State enough flexibility, New Hampshire can wipe out its Red List instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars a commuter rail line it doesn’t need and can’t afford.
The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy is a free market think tank based in Concord, New Hampshire. For more information go to www.jbartlett.org.