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Gov. Proposes Closing Eight N.H. Rest Areas

Land Line Magazine – February 28, 2011

New Hampshire is joining the increasing number of states looking to close rest areas as a way to save money and cut back on transportation funding. In his recently proposed budget, Gov. John Lynch has proposed to reduce the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s budget by $12 million. His plan includes closing eight rest areas and transferring the state’s welcome centers from the transportation department to the state’s department of Resources and Economic Development.

The I-95 and Hookset welcome centers would be redeveloped under the plan. “Our goal is to make our rest centers more than pit stops, but areas that truly welcome people to our state and promote our tourism industry,” Lynch said in his budget address in mid-February.

NHDOT public information officer Bill Boynton said the agency is facing tough financial decisions. “At this point it is just a proposal in the governor’s budget and there are no specific plans as to how the rest areas would be closed, i.e. gates, etc., or whether turn-off access would still be allowed,” Boynton said. “Much more difficult budget decisions, involving such areas as winter maintenance may lie ahead.” The Tom Warne Report