N.H. turnpike system has no money for major repairs

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New Hampshire’s turnpike system has enough income through 2014 to cover expenses, but supporters say a proposed toll hike is essential to replacing ailing bridges and relieve congestion on the Seacoast.

The proposed toll increases would produce $16 million annually for the projects. Governor John Lynch will ask the Executive Council to approve the hikes next month.

The state reviewed the turnpike’s bridges on a so-called "red list” of bridges needing repairs after a bridge in Minneapolis collapsed last month.

Lynch, who opposes a gas tax increase, is embracing toll increases to cover the $277 million needed to replace or resurface the turnpike system’s 14 worst bridges and widen a 5.2-mile stretch of the Spaulding Turnpike from Dover to Rochester.

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