Kuster Votes To Bolster Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure, Bring Critical Projects to New Hampshire
Washington, July 1, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, voted in favor of H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act. This legislation includes critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure to bolster local projects — like roads, bridges, and highways — as well as to minimize the impact of climate change.
“We have the opportunity to bolster our nation’s infrastructure, make bold investments in our communities, and take purposeful, strategic steps to ensure future generations have the transportation systems in place to thrive,” said Rep. Kuster. “The INVEST in America Act passed by the House today will create jobs and put us on the path to build back better from COVID-19 in New Hampshire and across the country while making meaningful changes to preserve our environment. I’m thrilled my bipartisan legislation, the Invest in American Railroads Act, was included in this bill, along with funding for 17 projects across New Hampshire’s Second District, and I urge the Senate to pass this measure to preserve American infrastructure as the global standard.”
The INVEST in America Act:
The Invest in America Act includes reforms to the Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Financing Program (RRIF) based on Rep. Kuster’s bipartisan Invest in American Railroads Act:
Background on projects in the INVEST in America Act for New Hampshire:
The INVEST in America Act includes critical projects in New Hampshire’s Second District which Rep. Kuster secured in this legislation. The full list of projects for NH-02 is outlined below, along with statements of support from local stakeholders in the Granite State.
New Hampshire Projects Secured by Rep. Kuster:
Claremont Intersection Improvements, Claremont: $1,000,000
This project will divert large trucks that currently travel through downtown Opera House Square away from the center of town. This will improve the safety and ambiance of the square.
"Investing in our infrastructure is a city priority, but we cannot do all that is needed without federal resources,” said Charlene Lovett, Mayor of the City of Claremont. “Congresswoman Kuster's work to ensure that Claremont receives these funds accelerates our efforts, fosters economic growth and improves public safety."
Ashuelot-Trail Cheshire-Trail, Swanzey: $1,200,000
Upgrades nearly seven miles of pedestrian and bike trails to enhance alternative forms of transportation in the region.
George Street Bridge, Keene: $729,191
This project will rehabilitate a critical throughway in Keene to enhance mobility, and safety in Keene.
Marlboro Street Cheshire Rail Trail, Keene: $681,123
This project will extend the Cheshire Rail Trail to improve outdoor recreation opportunities in Keene and bolster connectivity within the town and surrounding communities.
“We are so grateful to Representative Kuster and her team for supporting these important transportation projects,” said Elizabeth Dragon, Keene City Manager. “The bridge and trail improvements would not be possible without this level of support and teamwork that keeps Keene moving forward and serving our community’s long term needs.”
“The implementation of these two Cheshire Rail Trail projects is part of a broader regional strategy to improve one of the Monadnock Region’s greatest assets – its rail trails – which are becoming increasingly popular among the region’s residents and a draw for recreational tourism and economic development,” said J.B. Mack, Principal Planner at the Southwest Region Planning Commission. “Keene has a disproportionate number of local bridges to maintain compared to most other NH communities – thirty-five in total. Nine of them are considered red-list bridges including the George Street Bridge. Addressing the George Street Bridge will be assistive in the City’s efforts to address its ongoing bridge challenges.”
Spruce Street Connector, Nashua: $1,000,000
Connects the Nashua Riverwalk with the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail. This will provide a vital link between two non-motorized networks that provide access to the City's 325-acre Mine Falls Park and its miles of paved and natural trails, benefiting two of the state's most economically distressed and densely-populated census tracts.
Heritage Rail Trail Extension, Nashua: $1,200,000
This project would extend the bike and pedestrian trail in downtown Nashua and continue the trail for connection to the City's future downtown rail station.
“Getting funding for the Heritage Rail Trail East and the Spruce Street Connector will make it easier for residents and visitors to get around Nashua,” said Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess. “The Heritage Rail Trail East will provide a bicycle and pedestrian path that runs through some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city and connect them to our Main Street at one end and the site of the future rail depot on the other.”
Loudon Intersection Improvements, Loudon: $2,347,256
Facilitates improvements at the intersection of NH106 and South Village Road, a high traffic area and site of road fatalities.
Merrimack River Greenway, Concord: $1,584,800
Project is the first stage of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail which will run along the river from Boscawen through Concord to Pembroke.
"The Merrimack River Greenway Trail has been in the works for several years,” said Concord Mayor Jim Bouley. “With the help of Congresswoman Kuster and the dedication of dozens of volunteers and the Concord City Council, we are one step closer to getting shovels in the ground to make this project a reality."
Multi-use Path Connecting Warner Village, Warner: $920,000
Supports the construction of a multi-use Path Connecting Warner Village to other local businesses. This project will improve public safety in an area that has seen several accidents and fatalities in recent years.
“The multi-use path will connect the village area to retail businesses near exit 9 off Interstate 89, providing a safe route for bikes and pedestrians to bring more people to Warner to live and visit,” said Diane Ricciardelli, Warner Town Administrator. “The need for a safer multi-use path along Route 103 has been of high importance to our residents; that stretch of road can be a bit daunting as they contend with cars and navigate very limited shoulder access. In addition to providing a safe route of travel, the path will slow down cars and make overall travel safer. We appreciate the work that has gone into this bill and look forward to the next steps.”
“Trails in our region have seen a substantial increase in use as people seek to get outdoors during the pandemic. Construction of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail and the Warner sidepath project will go a long way to connecting our region’s population centers and rural open spaces for people of all ages and abilities,” said Matthew Hicks, Chair of Central NH Regional Planning Commission. “Improving the safety of our transportation system is a high priority, and the Route 106 and South Village Road intersection improvement in Loudon will help address a longstanding safety issue along the corridor.”
NH 128 and Sherburne Road and Mammoth and 111, Pelham: $1,240,000
This project makes improvements to high-traffic intersections in Pelham to reduce traffic and improve safety.
“The Nashua Regional Planning Commission is thrilled to learn that funding for the NH 128/Sherburne Road and Mammoth Road/111A intersection improvement project in Pelham, the Heritage Rail Trail East project in Nashua, and the planned Spruce Street bicycle and the pedestrian connector project in Nashua have been included in surface transportation reauthorization legislation by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,” said Jay Minkarah, Executive Director of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission. “These projects are among the highest transportation priorities in the greater Nashua area and will go a long way toward advancing transportation system equity and enhancing multi-modal mobility and public safety in the region.”
Plymouth Sidewalk Project, Plymouth: $414,000
Project will improve pedestrian safety and ensure ADA compliance in a busy, high-density, multi-family area and create a walkable route to downtown.
Trestle Bridge—Mill City Park Trail, Franklin: $1,200,000
Construction of a pedestrian walkway on a historic trestle bridge in Franklin connecting Mill City Park with Trestle View Park. This project will build on Franklin’s tremendous efforts to enhance its appeal as a world class whitewater destination.
“Anyone who has been through Franklin’s downtown has seen this iconic trestle view bridge. It stands large and proud over the Winnipesaukee River located at the entrance of the main downtown area,” said Judie Milner, Franklin City Manager. “It is a vital piece of Franklin’s history and I am honored by Congresswoman Kuster’s support to provide federal surface transportation funding for the Trestle Bridge Mill City Park Trail in order to preserve and repurpose the bridge as part of the City’s revitalization effort by connecting Mill City Park to the downtown.“
“Both projects greatly support active transportation advances in our outdoor recreation economy,” said Jeffrey R. Hayes, Executive Director of the Lakes Region Planning Commission. “The Franklin Trestle project will provide greater connectivity to the new whitewater park and the sidewalk improvements in Plymouth will greatly improve the walkability, safety and attractiveness of the downtown.”
Mechanic St/High St/Mascoma St Intersection, Lebanon: $2,400,000
This project supports the reconstruction of the Mechanic Street/High Street/Mascoma Street Intersection, a major thoroughfare into Lebanon which will improve traffic flow and in a fast-growing city.
“Congresswoman Kuster continues in her efforts to assist the City in addressing the backlog of infrastructure issues we face,” said City of Lebanon Mayor McNamara. “The funding that she seeks for the reconstruction of the Mascoma St./High St./Mechanic St. intersection will reduce the risks to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The City of Lebanon is very appreciative of her efforts.”
“This project being added to this legislation ensures the timely delivery of an important project that will address longstanding safety issues for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists at a challenging intersection in the City of Lebanon,” said Meghan Butts, Executive Director of the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee RPC. “Thank you again to Representative Kuster for remembering UVLSRPC and working for all of New Hampshire.”
Waterville Valley Pedestrian Improvements, Waterville Valley: $948,110
Creates safe multi-modal transportation alternatives throughout the core of Waterville Valley by reconstructing roadway to include a dedicated Bike/Pedestrian lane. This will kickstart implementation of Waterville Valley’s Pedestrian Village Revitalization Plan.
“The Town of Waterville Valley is very pleased that funding for our Pedestrian Improvement Project is included in the surface transportation reauthorization legislation,” said the Waterville Valley Board of Selectmen. “Our Town has experienced a 30%+ increase in full-time residents and our school population has almost quadrupled over the past year. Improvements to our roads and pedestrian/bicycle paths are critical as we deal with increased numbers of cars and pedestrians in our community. We appreciate the assistance that Congresswoman Kuster and her staff have provided in securing this funding for our project.”
Whitefield Sidewalk Project, Whitefield: $396,704
The project replaces existing sidewalks around the town common, known as King's Square, and constructs a new sidewalk along NH Route 116 (Littleton Rd.). This will improve pedestrian safety and disabled persons' access to businesses and community activities in the village center.
Littleton Sidewalk Project, Littleton: $710,159
Project will replace sidewalks downtown on Cottage Street and Mill Street, improving active transportation options in the town.
Gorham Sidewalk Redevelopment, Gorham: $898,196
This project will facilitate the development of safe, ADA compliant, non-motorized access between two separated areas of town. This is Phase II of a Gorham revitalization project called “Growing a Greener Gorham.”
“The Town of Gorham’s Route 2 (Lancaster Rd) Sidewalk Infrastructure Project is Phase II of a town-wide economic revitalization project entitled ‘Growing a Greener Gorham.’ The Town of Gorham is extremely grateful to Representative Kuster and her staff for their support of this project which will improve infrastructure for cyclists, walkability, and pedestrian access,” said Denise Vallee, Town Manager. “The project will result in better connectivity between Gorham’s multi-use trail systems and excellent amenities, which will ultimately benefit our recreation economy.”
“It is great to assist our member communities in bringing these ready-to-move projects forward to taking advantage of this funding opportunity,” said Michelle Moren-Grey, Executive Director of the North Country Council. “Having these infrastructure projects funded through the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s surface transportation reauthorization legislation not only helps these projects reach completion, but it also opens up more of our traditional transportation funding streams to support a greater number of projects in the region.”