Key Point: “We need to make the Senate understand what the effect would be… If we keep putting (projects like these) off, it just gets more and more expensive,” Governor Hassan said.
Seacoast Online: “Gov. Hassan pushes to fund taking care of roads”
GREENLAND — “This is impressive in the wrong way,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan Thursday morning as she joined several New Hampshire Department of Transportation workers in surveying the degradation on Breakfast Hill Road in Greenland and Route 33 in Stratham.
Hassan visited NHDOT Shed No. 610 in Rye, one of 86 in the state. Hassan said she “must have driven by thousands of times,” without knowing the shed was there. She met with workers and then took a brief tour of some of the sites where the DOT hopes to get paving projects underway this year.
NHDOT Director of Operations Bill Janelle told the governor that if the House-approved budget were to pass the Senate and be signed, the money would simply not be there for the badly needed paving projects on the Seacoast. According to Janelle, both the portions of Route 33 they visited and Breakfast Hill Road haven’t been paved in 10 years.
“It needs to be done. This is the right time. It makes sense economically to pave it on a routine cycle,” Janelle told Hassan.
According to Hassan, the budget cuts made by the House would include $5 million from the winter maintenance budget, and $42 million from the NHDOT as a whole.
“That’s just ridiculous after the winter we’ve had,” she said, adding that such cuts have an economic “ripple effect” on New Hampshire. “It puts us in a downward spiral rather than the smart, strategic investing we should be doing.”
“We need to make the Senate understand what the effect would be,” she added.
Hassan praised the DOT workers’ hard work over the winter, thanking them for the long hours they put in keeping the area’s roads clear.
…“If we keep putting (projects like these) off, it just gets more and more expensive,” she said. “And in the meantime, New Hampshire drivers are driving on roads that are less and less safe.” [Full article]