Senator Hassan at the Bunker Creek Bridge. Photo credit: Olivia Falcigno
DURHAM – In case you missed it, Seacoast Online reported on U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan’s visit yesterday to Bunker Creek Bridge Replacement Project, where she discussed the importance of investing in infrastructure projects across New Hampshire. Senator Hassan is a member of the bipartisan group of Senators who reached an agreement with the White House on a comprehensive infrastructure bill last week, and is continuing to work with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build support for the legislation.
To read the Seacoast Online article, click here or see below.
By Karen Dandurant
When U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan visited the Bunker Creek Bridge on Route 4 in Durham Monday, a red line bridge that was replaced last year, she took the time to talk about the work done on the bridge, New Hampshire's infrastructure needs, and the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill with NH DOT Commissioner Victoria Sheehan.
Hassan is one of the bipartisan group of senators who recently reached an agreement with the White House on their bipartisan infrastructure framework, and the senator is continuing discussions with her colleagues to build out this agreement and gain support for it.
"I am excited to hear the latest developments on the infrastructure package," said NHDOT Commissioner Victoria Sheehan. "The FAST Act (Fixing America's Surface Transportation) expires in September. We are hoping Congress passes the Infrastructure package. We have a lot of needs in New Hampshire. We are starting up our 10-year plan this summer and if we knew what money might be available, we could plan for our current needs and possibly look ahead to some new projects."
Hassan said current negotiations on the infrastructure bill are focused on providing better planning opportunities. She said the bill is looking at an eight-year plan, and at the minimum, a five-year plan.
The infrastructure agreement between the White House and this bipartisan group of 21 senators that includes Senator Hassan is actively being worked on, so the specific elements of the framework may change in the final bill.
As of now, this bipartisan agreement proposes $579 billion in new spending over five years, and $379 billion over five years in total spending on transportation infrastructure such as roads or bridges.
A spokesperson from Hassan's office said some of the investments could be made as one-time payments, other program funding could be reauthorized for a minimum of five-years, and others could be for different periods of time.
"These are the details that the senators will be working on as they finalize actual legislative text," she said.
Sheehan told Hassan there were another 300 bridges or more in need of attention in the state. She said that is just one component of infrastructure needs in the state, pointing to roads, culverts and flood water drainage as other areas that need to be addressed.
"I'm optimistic about the bill passing," said Hassan. "Twenty senators have signed in, and we are working to get more on both sides of the aisle on board. There is not one senator I have talked to who doesn't recognize the need for infrastructure. We have put this country's need in this area off for way too long. It is about valuing the investment in our country." […]