NHDOT Resurfacing Program

The NHDOT maintains approximately 4,600 miles of roadway. These roadways form the backbone of the NH transportation network allowing the movement of goods and services, supporting the tourism industry, and supports our daily activities. NHDOT invests between $60M and $100M every year to maintain this network and we are focused on managing this investment as efficiently and effectively as possible.

To help aid in our mission, NHDOT collects annual pavement condition data with this data being reported to FHWA and is available to the public at the links shown on the right. The condition data is a valuable tool for gauging progress and is used to help predict future pavement conditions based on different funding levels.

In order to prioritize which roads are resurfaced each year, the NHDOT has categorized the network into four distinct Tiers and established strategies to guide investment decisions and are described in greater detail below.

  • Highway Priorities (Tiers)
  • Making Sustainable Investments (Strategies)
  • Funding Priorities

Highway Priorities (Tiers) - Not all roads are equal.

While every road is critical to the people and businesses that rely upon it, each road also serves a different number of users and provides different levels of connectivity. The Department has categorized the state managed road system into the following priorities (tiers):

  • Tier 1 - Interstates, Turnpikes & the divided section of Route 101
  • Tier 2 - Major corridors (like US 3, US 4, US 202, and Route 16)
  • Tier 3 - Collectors (like Route 112, Route 31, and Route 155)
  • Tier 4 - Secondary highways and unnumbered routes

Making Sustainable Investments (Strategies)

The road network in New Hampshire required a massive investment of public funds over many decades. In order to maximize the useful life of that prior investment, along with current and future investments, strategies are developed for different types of roads.

Preservation Strategy - Keeping good roads good.

Pavement, as just about everything else that endures wear and tear, needs some attention every now and then to stay in good working condition. A variety of low-cost pavement treatments are used to keep roads in good working condition for as long as possible. These treatments extend the useful life of the road, are low-impact, and usually limit construction disruption to only a few weeks; however, they can only be used on roads that are already in good condition which makes their use time sensitive.

Roughness Paving Strategy - Keeping roads functional and acceptable.

While preservation and light capital paving focus on good and reasonable pavement., the focus of roughness paving is solely on very rough roads. When roughness paving is proposed, the road has reached or is about to reach a point where the road is so rou1gh that the public is dissatisfied, it is difficult to plow snow, and safety is becoming a concern. Roughness paving restores a minimum standard for state owned roads, is low-cost, and construction takes one season. This strategy is a one-time investment. A light capital paving strategy will maintain the roadway after this initial investment. 

Light Capital Paving Strategy - Keeping roads in working order.

The Department uses light capital paving for roads that are in reasonable condition but are not suitable for preservation. This strategy of preventative maintenance uses low­-cost treatments to protect the pavement that has developed cracking or other flaws thus extending the useful life of the pavement. Periodic paving will occur over the long term to keep the road in a reasonable condition because light capital paving does not completely fix the pavement's needs. 

Rehabilitation - Restoring poor pavements.

The result of this activity is a new preservable pavement. Rehabilitation is not suitable for every road that needs attention and particular site conditions can significantly affect the cost or how long the rehabilitated road will last. These activities are generally moderate-cost and may take a couple months to complete. The Department evaluates rehabilitation candidates for cost effectiveness on a case-by-case basis. This strategy is a one-time investment.

Reconstruction - Building a good road.

Because the road network in New Hampshire has developed organically over many decades, many roads do not have constructed foundations. These roads present a challenge for sustainability because no investment in them, short of reconstruction, will last for very long. Reconstruction has a high-cost and may take more than a year to complete. This activity is not a priority of the Pavement Strategy because NH DOT is seeking to maximize the effectiveness of limited paving budgets and reconstruction can be cost prohibitive.

Funding Priorities - Making Tough Choices.

The data below shows the paving priorities for NHDOT. These priorities provide the most benefit to the public based on a limited budget. Tiers and strategies combine to prioritizing roadway needs.

Pavement Strategies
Tier 1: Preservation (High), Roughness Paving (N/A), Light Capital Paving (N/A), Rehabilitation (High), Reconstruction (N/A)
Tier 2: Preservation (High), Roughness Paving (High), Light Capital Paving (High), Rehabilitation (Moderate), Reconstruction (N/A)
Tier 3: Preservation (High), Roughness Paving (Moderate), Light Capital Paving (Moderate), Rehabilitation (Low), Reconstruction (N/A)
Tier 4: Preservation (High), Roughness Paving (Moderate), Light Capital Paving (Moderate), Rehabilitation (Low), Reconstruction (N/A)

Note that this program does not include any resurfacing work on the Everett, Spaulding, or the Blue Star (I-95) Turnpikes. Work on the turnpikes are paid for using funds collected at the tolls.

For additional information please contact the Bureau of Materials and Research at (603) 271-3151.