(The Center Square) – New Hampshire is getting another pile of cash from the federal government to help fix potholed roads and crumbling bridges and expand public transit options.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is sending nearly $219 million to the state as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure and jobs law, which was recently signed by President Joe Biden.
"Many of our roads, highways and bridges have been lacking investment for too long, threatening the safety of drivers traveling to work, getting groceries and picking up their kids from childcare," U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said in a statement. "It’s long past time we deliver a once-in-a-generation investment in our highways to boost safety and resilience."
Other members of the state's congressional delegation who pushed for the funding praised the Biden administration's decision to quickly distribute the funds.
"The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes good on decades of promises to invest in our communities, and I’m pleased that we are delivering the federal funds necessary for New Hampshire to reduce congestion and improve safety and quality of life," Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., said in a statement.
The DOT's Federal Highway Administration announced on Thursday that $52.5 billion in federal funds were being distributed to states, tribal nations and territories as part of the infrastructure law. That's a 20% increase over last year's federal highway apportionments, the agency said.
“We are committed to delivering on the promise of the bipartisan Infrastructure law, and putting people to work modernizing our infrastructure and making it safer, more sustainable, and more efficient," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
Biden visited New Hampshire last month to tout the infrastructure law, saying it will "improve the lives of tens of millions of working-class Americans while fixing roads, bridges and expanding internet access." He gave the remarks from an aging span bridge in Woodstock that has been on the state’s "red list" of structurally deficient bridges for years.
Overall, New Hampshire stands to get more than $2.05 billion from the spending bill over the next five years, including at least $1.1 billion for highway upgrades and $225 million for bridge repairs, according to a breakdown provided by the White House.
The state will also receive at least $418 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure and at least $100 million to help provide broadband coverage. Another $45 million will be available to improve rail service.
Topping the list of infrastructure needs in New Hampshire are its aging roadways and bridges, many of which are in a state of disrepair, according to a fact sheet released by the White House.
The Biden administration's Infrastructure Report Card gave the state a C- grade, saying there are 250 bridges and nearly 700 miles of highway in poor condition.
Gov. Chris Sununu has welcomed the additional federal funding but has also pointed out that New Hampshire receives the lowest amount of money nationwide for highway programs under the federal government's funding formula. He wrote to Biden ahead of his visit and called for a more equitable funding system.