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Five Questions with Bill Boynton, New Hampshire Department of Transportation

New Hampshire’s location at the crossroads of New England makes it the perfect spot for manufacturing and distribution businesses seeking to ship products to the Northeast, Canada and beyond. A thriving manufacturing sector and a skilled workforce demand a solid transportation infrastructure to help drive the economic engine of the Granite State.

To learn more about how the government’s work on transportation issues affects the world of work for New Hampshire businesses and professionals, we talked to Bill Boynton, public information officer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Unlike the Division of Economic Development, it’s not in the DOT’s mandate to help recruit new businesses to the state; that said, some of the goals of both agencies have a significant overlap.

Bill Boynton NH DOT

Bill Boynton
NH DOT

What’s one project either recently completed, or in progress right now, that you think will have a significant positive impact on the business community in New Hampshire?

That’s easy – the ongoing Interstate 93 project between Salem and Manchester. The $800 million project to rebuild and widen the 20-mile corridor was designated by the Legislature as New Hampshire’s most important transportation project. Former Commissioner Chris Clement called I-93 “the road paved with gold” in reference to its economic importance to the state. I-93 runs through the center of New Hampshire, from the Merrimack Valley through the Lakes and White Mountains Regions. It’s critical to the economic vitality of the state, the region and local communities.

What role does the DOT play in helping keep talented workers from exploring jobs outside of the state?

New Hampshire is a very desirable place to live, work, play and enjoy. The mission of the NHDOT: “Transportation excellence enhancing the quality of life in New Hampshire.” By working every day to provide that transportation excellence and to support the state’s economic growth and vitality, the NHDOT helps make it easier for talented workers to decide to call New Hampshire home.

What would you say to a business looking to expand to New Hampshire, if that business had questions about the state’s ability to support its shipping and logistics needs?

New Hampshire’s highway and bridge system (4,600 miles) continues to rank high in quality, enhanced by major corridors that include interstate highways (i.e. I-93, I-293, I-95, I-89) and 90 miles of turnpikes (i.e. Everett, Spaulding and Blue Star). We have 25 public use airports, including Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, which is a major hub for freight shipments. Rail in New Hampshire transports about 7 percent of all freight tonnage. The ports of Portsmouth and Newington loaded or discharged 3.1 million tons of cargo in 2011, valued at $1.7 billion.

What are the DOT’s priorities in terms of public transportation for New Hampshire’s workforce?

Our priorities are to maintain New Hampshire’s existing system of local public transit, intercity bus service and state-contracted commuter and express bus service, to study what that system should look like in the future, and to provide information and support to our policymakers on additional modes of transportation for New Hampshire’s workforce going forward.

How do you see the Department of Transportation’s role in fostering a favorable business climate?

Former NHDOT Commissioner Carol Murray once said, “Transportation is the game board upon which all others play.” Whether it’s keeping the roads plowed during winter snow events, continuous capital improvements to improve mobility, or the increased emphasis on maintenance and preservation, providing a safe and reliable transportation system for the movement of people, goods, and services is fundamental to what the NHDOT does, and what the traveling public expects and deserves in the Granite State.

 

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