(Washington, DC) -- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood broke ground today on the first New Hampshire road project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The project, resurfacing nearly ten miles of heavily-trafficked freeway on NH Route 101, will create and sustain up to 250 direct and indirect jobs. Secretary LaHood was joined at the groundbreaking in Epping by NH Governor John Lynch, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and Congressman Paul Hodes.
As has been the growing trend with recovery projects around the country, Route 101 is being resurfaced for a cost substantially below engineers’ initial estimates due to heightened competition among contractors. While the original project estimate for Route 101 was $8.5 million, the final bid from Pike Industries came in at $7.8 million, or 8.6 percent below the state-budgeted amount.
“These workers are literally paving the road to New Hampshire’s recovery, starting with Epping,” said Sec. LaHood. “This project is putting hundreds of people to work to rebuild Route 101, which will boost the local economy all along New Hampshire’s seacoast for years to come. And because we’re getting it done under budget, New Hampshire will be able to stretch its federal dollars even further to get more for its taxpayers’ money.”
Gov. Lynch added, “As the national economy continues to negatively impact our state and our families it is important that we work quickly to use these stimulus funds to retain and create jobs. I am very pleased by our efforts here in New Hampshire to work quickly to get this stimulus money out the door and use these funds as President Obama intended - putting our people back to work. I want to thank Secretary LaHood for joining us today as we work to lift New Hampshire and the nation out of this economic crisis."
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Friday, April 17, 2009
“The Recovery Act is already creating jobs in New Hampshire and funding important infrastructure projects across the state,” said Senator Shaheen. “We face serious economic challenges that were created over many years and won’t be solved overnight, but the Recovery Act was an important step toward economic recovery. I look forward to working with Secretary LaHood, Governor Lynch, and my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle to continue our efforts to get our economy back on track.”
“The Secretary has shown the Administration’s commitment to New Hampshire by being with us today,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “These recovery dollars are now in New Hampshire where they are creating jobs and repairing our local infrastructure.”
“This project shows that the Obama Jobs and Recovery plan is starting to have a positive impact on the Granite State, and putting Granite Staters to work,” said Congressman Hodes. “These jobs are just a fraction of the many jobs that the Recovery Act will create right here in New Hampshire. Thousands of hard-working citizens will soon get back to work, rebuilding our infrastructure for the 21st century, and helping our businesses to stay competitive.”
NH Route 101 is a major east-west corridor in southern New Hampshire connecting Epping to Hampton, which serves as the main artery to New Hampshire’s seacoast as well as its largest city, Manchester.
New Hampshire was also recently awarded $4.6 million for airport rehabilitation projects at Laconia Municipal Airport, Dillant-Hopkins Airport and Nashua Airport-Boire Field.
Secretary LaHood said the Obama Administration is committed to getting ARRA funding into the economy as quickly as possible. He noted that President Obama signed ARRA into law on February 17, less than one month after taking the oath of office. Less than two weeks later, on March 3, Sec. LaHood joined President Obama and Vice President Biden at the U.S. Department of Transportation in marking the release of the first transportation infrastructure project funds. On Monday, under six weeks after the first announcement, President Obama and Vice President Biden joined Sec. LaHood once again to announce funding for the 2,000th transportation project.
Secretary LaHood also urged road crews and the public to call 811 before digging to prevent any mishaps with utilities and pipelines. Dialing 811 will connect callers with local companies who mark the location of pipelines and utilities and can help prevent serious injuries and accidents. “This simple precaution saves lives,” said Secretary LaHood.