August 27, 2021

Senator Hassan Visits Route 1A to Discuss Nearly $1 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Package for Coastal Resilience

RYE, NH – In case you missed it, the Union Leader published an article on U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan’s visit to Route 1A to discuss the key coastal resiliency investments that Senator Hassan secured in the bipartisan infrastructure package that the Senate recently passed.

 

The package includes nearly $1 billion in critical funding for coastal resiliency. This funding would help improve the resilience of coastal communities to flooding and inundation by restoring or expanding natural ecosystems, while enhancing fish and wildlife habitats and increasing protection for communities from coastal hazards.

 

Route 1A runs along New Hampshire’s coast and connects the state’s most popular beaches, tourist amenities, and working waterfronts. Rising sea levels pose a threat to the local economies that heavily rely on coastal transportation networks, making investments in coastal resiliency a key priority.

 

To read the Union Leader’s article, click here or read below:

 

Union Leader: NH coastal communities may benefit from infusion of federal funds

By R.C. Reis

 

2021 may well be the year when the words “infrastructure” and “resiliency” enter the public lexicon like never before. But it is not the words alone that have created a new energy and optimism among environmentalists, civil engineers, academics, and city planners in the 17 communities considered coastal New Hampshire.

 

[…]A group led by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) used the backdrop of Route 1A near Odiorne State Park Wednesday overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Rye to call attention to the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, and now goes to the House. The measure includes nearly $1 billion for two existing federal programs aimed at protecting coastal communities from hazards like erosion and flooding. Experts predict that future natural hazards could render the entire coastal route unusable if planning and mitigation efforts are not undertaken.

 

Dave Walker, the assistant director and transportation program manager at the Rockingham County Planning Commission, held up modeling diagrams and imagery showing that Route 1A, Route 1 and Interstate 95 — the primary north/south roadways, and Route 286 — the primary east/west evacuation route, are vulnerable to sea-level rise and sea-level induced groundwater rise.

 

“We have to really think about how we re-route the transportation system to work around that (sea level rise) or keep access to these areas,” Walker said. “It will be a significant challenge in the future keeping Route 1A open in certain areas, both because of the tidal impact and because it’s a much lower piece of land,” he said.

 

[…] “Part of what we have tried to do in this bill is fund existing programs with existing organizations so that we were not asking people to recreate the wheel,” said Hassan.

 

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