Planning repairs

Just about anywhere one goes in America – from coastal metro areas, to Appalachia, to the Great Plains – the needs for infrastructure improvements are obvious.

Infrastructure is an all-encompassing term that includes roads, bridges, water lines, sewer lines, dams, landfills, and many other items.

Last week, The Telegraph reported on a study prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which graded New Hampshire’s infrastructure at a “C-.” Among many other findings, the report stated of sewer infrastructure in New Hampshire, “New Hampshire’s aging and failing wastewater infrastructure faces several other challenges including, increased regulatory requirements, a lack of sustainable funding for the $1.7 billion documented in needs, and climate change.”

The report further found 29% of New Hampshire roads are in either “poor” or “very poor” condition. It also states that an average bridge in the Granite State has now passed its intended years of use.

On the east side of Nashua’s 93-year-old Main Street Bridge, part of the structure close to the river shows clear signs of decay. Several roads and streets throughout Greater Nashua are replete with potholes. More than 1,500 sites in New Hampshire require cleanup for “petroleum and/or hazardous waste contamination,” the report states.

Last week, after President Donald Trump met with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., all three leaders said they intended to work on a plan that would provide as much as $2 trillion for infrastructure improvements across America. New Hampshire leaders welcomed this announcement.

“The time is now to make meaningful federal investments in expanding rural broadband and fixing highways, roads, and bridges,” U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., said.

“For too long, Washington has procrastinated while roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in New Hampshire and across the country have crumbled,” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., added.

Amid the volatile political environment of Washington, D.C., we hope Democrats and Republicans can reach and agreement for an infrastructure plan. If the federal government should spend money on anything, other than defending the nation from foreign aggression, we believe it should involve upgrading infrastructure.