Increased gas tax revenues mean more North Country road, bridge improvementsBy John Koziol
Union Leader Correspondent
June 04. 2014 8:19PM
BERLIN — Soon after the 4.2 cent-per-gallon road toll increase goes into effect, money will start accruing for the state Department of Transportation to do an additional $4.2 million worth of resurfacing/reconstruction projects in 2014 in the North Country.
And, thanks to the boost in revenues coming from the first increase in the road toll since 1991, the NHDOT is proposing both a bridge rehabilitation and a bridge replacement in 2015 in Berlin.
Senate Bill 367, which was signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan on May 20, is expected to generate upward of $33 million a year in new revenues beginning in fiscal year 2015, which commences on July 1. The money would be used for infrastructure investments, among them the expansion of Interstate 93, the repair of municipal bridges and for resurfacing and reconstruction projects throughout the state.
According to the state DOT, SB367 would mean $13.2 million more to resurface 175.6 miles of roads in the department’s six districts.
The North Country could see $2.2 million of that total, with 20.6 miles to be resurfaced. The work would include two miles of U.S. Route 3 in Northumberland; 3.8 miles of Route 110 east from the Milan/Berlin town line; 4.9 miles of U.S. Route 2 in Randolph; 1.2 miles of Route 16 in Bartlett; 1.4 miles of U.S. Route 3 in Colebrook; 3.1 miles of Route 110 between Northumberland and Stark; and 4.2 miles of U.S. Route 3 between Columbia and Colebrook.Under its preliminary reconstruction/rehabilitation program, NHDOT hopes to use $12 million in new road toll revenues this year to improve a total of 27.4 miles of roads statewide. The only beneficiary in the North Country this year would be the unincorporated township of Dixville, where NH DOT is proposing to improve 1.6 miles of Route 26 from east of the Colebrook town line.
Next year, in FY 2016, the state is eyeing eight more rehab projects statewide, but three of them are up north. They include 1.5 miles of Lost Nation Road in Lancaster-Northumberland; one mile of East Milan Road in Berlin; and three miles of Route 118 in Woodstock.
New revenue generated by SB367 is also being considered by the state for additional bridge projects this year, including two in Berlin — the replacement of the Hillside Avenue Bridge over the Dead River and the rehabilitation of the 12th Street Bridge over the Androscoggin River.
The state would provide aid of $525,000 for the former project, which would entail a municipal share of $131,250, and $568,852 for the latter, with a $142,213 municipal share.