Toll Update

Dear NHMTA Membership:

Most all of you have been following the toll increase in the media.

Last week I sent an email out requesting our membership attend a hearing in Portsmouth at the public library on Monday night to help oppose the unnecessary increase. On behalf of our Association, I want to thank the following companies for taking their time to appear at the hearing and support the Association’s position in opposing the proposed toll increase of over 36 million in new revenue a year. They are: Associated Grocers of New England, Ross Express, Wal-Mart Transportation, M&S Logistics, Pinard Waste, Eagle Express/Warehousing, City Fuel, Dead River Company and R&M Freight. We would also like to recognize Rockingham Oil, Bridges Brothers and J & F Farms for their written comments.

In addition to our opposition, NH Senate President, Chuck Morse, appeared in strong opposition to this proposal. He exposed the process which was flawed. There had been no public hearing on this proposal in the previous twenty-three Governor Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT)meetings held throughout the state of New Hampshire this past year. Senator Morse pointed out the email that went out to the five Executive Councilors who oversee the setting of toll rates was sent out at 10:00pm the Wednesday evening, the day before Thanksgiving. The perception being there was a coordinated effort to pass a massive tax increase on to the New Hampshire citizens with no legislative oversight and in the dark of the night. Senator Morse said he would not support this effort. His comments were echoed by Senator Birdsell (Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee), Senator Avard and Senator Sanborn.

I also must point out that the Union Leader played a prominent role in exposing this attempted toll increase.

Yesterday, Governor Sununu removed the toll proposal from the Governor and Council’s agenda for today’s meeting at the request of the NH Department of Transportation. I believe there will be additional public meetings set up in each Councilor’s district. This toll proposal may show up again at a future Governor and Council meeting or it may be gone for good. If there are additional meetings we will need to show up in opposition or run the risk of facing an unnecessary toll increase.

Please remember the three Executive Councilors currently in support of this toll increase are, Councilor Russell Prescott, Andru Volinsky and Christopher C. Pappas. The two Executive Councilors opposed to the toll increase are Councilor David K. Wheeler and Joseph D. Kenney.

I also want to thank the many NHMTA members that took the time to contact their Executive Councilor to voice their opposition to this toll increase.

The removal of the toll proposal is a good step. However, it may resurface to be voted on in the future. All of this would be put to rest if Governor Sununu would say he would veto the proposal.

I will keep you updated as we learn more.

Robert J. Sculley
President
New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
P O Box 3898
Concord NH 03302
603-224-7337 Fax 603-225-9361
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NH Toll Increase


Dear NHMTA Member:

As most of you know by now, there is a proposal to raise tolls on the Turnpike system by a substantial amount. According to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, this toll proposal will generate an additional $36 million in revenue for the “acceleration and expansion of Turnpike capital projects.” Attached is the seven-page toll proposal that was prepared by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for your review.

Toll rates are set by the New Hampshire Executive Council, unlike the “gas tax” which is debated and voted on by the New Hampshire General Court (NH House & Senate). If the toll rate increase is approved by the executive councilors, the majority of the toll transactions in the state of New Hampshire will increase by 50%. The commercial motor vehicle rate will become twice the class-one passenger rate, which is displayed on a graph in the proposal.

Herein lies the problem: There are five executive councilors and it takes only three to approve a toll increase. Executive Councilors Papas, Volinsky, and Prescott are all in support of this massive toll increase.

If you are opposed to this increase, I am recommending the following course of action: It is extremely important that the executive councilors and the governor hear from you as soon as possible. Their contact information is found on a separate sheet, attached.

Additionally, a public hearing has been scheduled for Monday night, December 4, 2017, at 6:00 pm at the Portsmouth Public Library for the purpose of public input on this toll proposal which I hope you will attend. Here is the address of the venue:
Portsmouth Public Library
175 Parrott Ave
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Unless you are in favor of an increase in tolls, it is critically important that you show up at this meeting to voice your opposition. I am very afraid that there will be many in the room that will be in support of this proposed increase.

Please make phone calls if you can as I have found that they can be the most effective form of communication. E-mail addresses are provided if you do not have the opportunity to call.

Here are a few talking points that you can use:

The New Hampshire Turnpike system is fully funded. There is enough cash to pay for current projects.

The state raised the gas tax 4.5 cents per gallon only three years ago. This generated approximately $32 million in new funds that are dedicated for use on New Hampshire’s roads and bridges.

This is important because the toll increase proposal is intended for the state to purchase a part of the highway through Concord (between Exits 14 to north of Exit 15) making it part of the turnpike system. As part of that transaction, according to NH DOT, that would free up $180,000,000 to be used on non-turnpike system roads and bridges.

That discussion should be part of a legislative hearing with multiple opportunities for public input.
Please, let the executive councilors know of the direct-cost impact to your business on a monthly and annual basis, i.e., the expected cost increase of goods and services to your customers and the impact on your employees.

Please let me know if you plan to attend the hearing on Monday evening in Portsmouth. It would be great if you can attend. Also, please provide me with any feedback that you receive from the executive councilors.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Sculley
President
New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
P O Box 3898
Concord NH 03302
603-224-7337 Fax 603-225-9361
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2017 11 28 New Hampshire Executive Councilors

2017 11 28 Proposal for Acceleration and Expansion of Turnpike

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A Senate panel has excluded commercial trucks from legislation it approved on Oct. 4 to assist the development and deployment of autonomous cars.

Unanimous passage by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sends the AV Start Act (S. 1885) to the full Senate. Similar legislation that also excludes vehicles over 10,000 lbs. was passed by the House of Representatives last month.
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NHDOT Announcement – September 8, 2017

Public Hearings set for the 2019-2028 10 year Transportation Plan

The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) will hold 19 Public Hearings across New Hampshire to review and receive input on the update of the State’s Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan (2019-2028). The next public hearing will be held on September 11, 2017, at 7 pm, at 6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack, NH (Town Hall). Learn More

Construction Work

Night Paving on Interstate 93 in Concord

Night paving work is scheduled on Interstate 93 in Concord for Sunday, September 17 and Monday, September 18, 2017. Learn More

I-93 NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC SWITCH TO NEW LANES
NEAR THE EXIT 4 INTERCHANGE IN LONDONDERRY           

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) announces night work will begin Thursday, September 21, on Interstate 93 northbound in Londonderry, in the Exit 4 area, between mile markers 10.6 and 12.6.  Existing I-93 northbound traffic will be relocated to the newly constructed lanes in the median. This new traffic pattern will allow for the continued construction of the ultimate I-93 northbound, and construction of the Ash Street Bridge in that area. Learn More

Bridge Repairs on the Spaulding Turnpike in Portsmouth

Bridge repairs are scheduled to begin Monday, September 18, 2017, on the Spaulding Turnpike southbound bridge over the I-95 westbound off-ramp at Exit 4 in Portsmouth. Learn More

Temporary Closure of the Seabrook Welcome Center on I-95 Northbound

A planned short-term closure of the northbound Welcome Center on Interstate 95 in Seabrook just south of Exit 1, from Monday night, September 18, at 8:00 pm until Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 8:00 am. Learn More

Planned Closure on NH 11A in Gilford for Box Culvert Replacement

A planned closure of NH Route 11A from Monday, September 11 to Friday, September 29, 2017, at the box culvert replacement project over West Alton Brook in Gilford near the Alton town line. Learn More

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE SEABROOK WELCOME CENTER ON I-95 NORTHBOUND CLOSED TO ALL VEHICLES TONIGHT (9/18) AND FROM 9/25 AT 8:00 PM TO 9/28/17 AT 8:00 AM

For Immediate Release

September 18, 2017

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE SEABROOK WELCOME CENTER ON I-95 NORTHBOUND CLOSED TO ALL VEHICLES TONIGHT (9/18) AND FROM 9/25 AT 8:00 PM TO 9/28/17 AT 8:00 AM The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) announces that due to anticipated inclement weather, the schedule has changed for the planned temporary closure of the Seabrook Welcome Center on I-95 northbound, just south of Exit 1, to allow for paving work.

The Seabrook Welcome Center will now be closed to all traffic tonight (9/18) from 8:00 pm until 8:00 am on Tuesday, September 19.  The Seabrook Welcome Center will again be closed to all traffic from Monday, September 25 at 8:00 pm until Thursday September 28 at 8:00 am.  Any vehicles left in the Seabrook Welcome Center parking lot during these time periods will be subject to being towed at the owner’s expense.

This work will include milling and repaving of the entire Seabrook Welcome Center parking lot, including the construction of additional truck parking. It will also include storm drain repair and the restriping of truck and passenger vehicle parking spaces. The Seabrook Welcome Center was last paved in 2000.

This work is a part of the Seabrook-North Hampton-Rochester Eastern Turnpike resurfacing project. Brox Industries of Dracut, Massachusetts is the prime contractor of the $3.5 million project

Contacts:

Kevin Winn                 Construction Bureau,                           603-818-1872

Bill Boynton                Public Information Officer,                 603-271-6495

NH Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03302-0483

http://www.nh.gov/dot/  |  Follow us on Facebook  |  On Twitter

Get real time traffic updates (via Twitter) from the NH TMC.

 

Hurricane Victims Relief

In order to help aid communities damaged by Hurricane Irma, M&S Logistics, a member of NHMTA, has graciously donated a trailer for a collection site which will be parked in Candia, NH. Please see the attached letter with details of what is needed and where you can bring your donations.

The trailer will depart NH after 9/25 and the donated items will be distributed through disaster relief centers in Fort Myers, FL.

Anything you can do to help the victims would be appreciated.

Emergency Declaration Issued by USDOT in Advance of Hurricane Irma

September 7, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue a Regional Emergency Declaration in advance of Hurricane Irma for the States of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Emergency Declarations trigger the temporary suspension of certain Federal safety regulations for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief, including direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services (such as electrical, sewer, water, and telecommunications) or essential supplies (such as food, water, medical supplies, and fuel).

An FMCSA Regional Emergency Declaration continues to exist for Hurricane Harvey.  The Agency has created a special webpage – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/harvey – containing resources, links and information for commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers. Additional content will be regularly added.

A second webpage – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/irma – has also been created containing resources, links and information for commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers. Additional content will be regularly added.

For a current list of regional and state-by-state Emergency Declarations, Waivers, Exemptions and Permits, see: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency.

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