Eagle-Tribune: State officials seek more money for I-93, Kuster asked to help secure funding for I-93
WINDHAM — State officials remain anxious about receiving enough federal funding to complete the Interstate 93 widening project.
They appealed to Congresswoman Ann Kuster, D-N.H., for help yesterday, saying the entire $769 million project could be stalled if the state does not receive the money.
If federal funding dries up, it would be impossible to complete the work by 2020 as scheduled, Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement said.
“You want to keep the momentum going,” Clement said. “Any hiccup in federal funding could have a negative impact on the ending.”
The state needs an additional $250,000 to finish the 20-mile widening of I-93 from Salem to Manchester, according to project manager Peter Stamnas. Approximately 60 percent of the project is either underway or complete.
“That’s why it is so imperative we get those federal funds,” Clement said.
Numerous permits for the project expire after 2020, he said.
“They are doing as much as they can as quick as they can because of the time limit,” Stamnas said.
Clement and DOT officials led Kuster, Sen. James Rausch, R-Derry, and others on a tour of the project yesterday to explain the need for more federal funding.
Kuster has been seeking more money for the I-93 work and other highway projects across the country. She recently asked congressional leaders to work together to provide additional money for the nation’s highway trust fund before funding is delayed or halted.
“It is definitely not effective to have to stop,” she said. “It would be a nightmare.”
Funding for state highway projects could decrease after June 30 without action from Congress.
“Now, we’ll go to Washington and make sure we get the funding,” Kuster said at the conclusion of the hour-long tour.
Kuster, wearing a bright orange and yellow highway vest, stood along with the others in what will be the new southbound lanes off Exit 3 to watch the construction yesterday afternoon.