5 Most Traveled Bridges in New Hampshire in Desperately Poor Condition

New Hampshire, known for its natural beauty, historical heritage, and quality of life, grapples with challenges in maintaining its aging infrastructure, particularly its bridges. According to a report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the state has 193 bridges classified as structurally deficient, representing 7.6 percent of the total bridges, exceeding the national average of 7.3 percent. Some of these bridges, being heavily traveled, pose increased risks to public safety and mobility. Here are the five most traveled bridges in New Hampshire facing severe deterioration:

1. I-293 Over Merrimack River

Situated in Hillsborough County, this bridge spans the Merrimack River in Manchester, constructed in 1958 with a daily traffic volume of 72,000 vehicles. The deck, the surface on which vehicles drive, exhibits signs of deterioration like cracking, spalling, and delamination. The superstructure, supporting the deck, shows issues such as section loss, fatigue cracks, and steel corrosion. The estimated repair cost for this bridge is $36.8 million.

2. I-293 Over I-93

Also located in Hillsborough County, this bridge crosses I-93 in Manchester, built in 1962, with a daily traffic of 71,000 vehicles. Similar to the previous bridge, it has a poor rating for the deck, which experiences cracking, spalling, delamination, and exposed rebar. The substructure, supporting the superstructure, shows problems like section loss, spalling, and concrete deterioration. The estimated cost for repairing this bridge is $25.6 million.

3. I-93 Over I-293

Found in Hillsborough County, this bridge spans I-293 in Manchester, constructed in 1962 with a daily traffic volume of 67,000 vehicles. The deck shares issues with the other bridges, displaying cracking, spalling, delamination, and exposed rebar. The superstructure faces challenges such as section loss, fatigue cracks, and steel corrosion. The estimated cost for repairing this bridge is $25.6 million.

4. NH-101 Over I-293

Also situated in Hillsborough County, this bridge carries NH-101 over I-293 in Manchester. Built in 1962, it has a daily traffic volume of 48,000 vehicles. The deck exhibits cracking, spalling, delamination, and exposed rebar, while the superstructure shows section loss, fatigue cracks, and steel corrosion. The estimated repair cost for this bridge is $18.4 million.

5. I-93 Over US-3

Located in Merrimack County, this bridge spans I-93 over US-3 in Concord, built in 1963 with a daily traffic volume of 46,000 vehicles. Similar to others, the deck faces cracking, spalling, delamination, and exposed rebar, and the superstructure shows section loss, fatigue cracks, and steel corrosion. The estimated repair cost for this bridge is $17.6 million.

These five bridges, identified in the report, are among the most traveled in New Hampshire and are in dire need of attention. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the broader issue of bridge maintenance in the state, considering factors like weather, traffic, and ongoing maintenance. While state and federal governments have allocated funds, more investment and efforts are required to guarantee the safety and efficiency of the transportation network, recognizing bridges as vital lifelines.

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