MANCHESTER, N.H. – On the eve of the busiest travel day of the year for most Americans, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) joined Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan at the Manchester Department of Public Works on Tuesday morning. There, they celebrated after Congress avoided cutting what would have been nearly 20 percent of New Hampshire’s federal infrastructure funding.
Following a bipartisan letter spearheaded by Pappas and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) that included 107 members of the House of Representatives, Congress addressed Section 1438 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which would have rescinded $7.6 billion in unobligated federal-aid highway contract authority on July 1, 2020.
New Hampshire would have lost $37.8 million, with 37 states losing over $50 million in funding if the matter had not been addressed.
Removing the rescission within Section 1438 was included in the latest federal budget continuing resolution, which was signed by President Trump last Thursday.
Although Pappas added that Congress still needs to take additional action to address the country’s infrastructure needs, avoiding the rescission was a positive step to help avoid uncertainty in ongoing infrastructure planning by New Hampshire and other states.
“It was really critical that we acted now and made sure that projects weren’t delayed,” said Pappas. “There’s been significant downshifting to states and municipalities in terms of infrastructure spending. The federal government needs to step up to the plate.”
Sheehan noted that without the recission’s removal, improvements to rail trails, sidewalks, intersections and other infrastructure repairs and upgrades would have been delayed or cancelled.
Craig added that she expected either the delay or cancellation of upcoming projects on Exit 1, 6 and 7 of I-293 and rehabilitation of the Amoskeag and Queen City Bridges.
“Ensuring that New Hampshire will still receive nearly $40 million in transportation funding is critical to projects in and around Manchester,” said Craig. “Protecting this funding means that these important safety projects can go forward. As millions of Americans get ready to travel for Thanksgiving week, I want to reiterate my thanks to Congressman Pappas and all who advocated to ensure that New Hampshire received this funding that supports our residents, businesses, and visitors.”