TITLE XX
TRANSPORTATION

Chapter 235
FEDERAL AND STATE HIGHWAY AID

Section 235:1

    235:1 Provisions Accepted. – The provisions of the Federal-Aid Road Act, approved July 11, 1916, entitled "An Act to provide that the United States shall aid the states in the construction of rural post roads and for other purposes," and all acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, are assented to, and the department of transportation through its commissioner is authorized to make the necessary surveys and estimates to carry out the provisions of said acts.

Source. 1917, 8:1. PL 88:1. 1937, 61:1. RL 104:1. 1945, 188:1, part 11:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 239:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(6).

Section 235:2

    235:2 Faith and Credit Pledged. – The faith and credit of the state are pledged to make adequate provision, from time to time, by appropriation or otherwise, to meet all obligations of the state incident to the acceptance of federal aid under the provisions of said act.

Source. 1917, 162:1. PL 88:2. RL 104:2. 1945, 188:1, part 11:2. RSA 239:2. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 235:3

    235:3 Expenditures. – To meet such obligations the commissioner of transportation is authorized to use any money appropriated for highways not specifically required to be used elsewhere.

Source. 1917, 162:2. PL 88:3. RL 104:3. 1945, 188:1, part 11:3. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 239:3. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).

Section 235:4

    235:4 Commissioner's Authority. – The commissioner of transportation is authorized to act for the state or any of its political subdivisions in conjunction with the representatives of the federal government in all matters relating to the location and construction of highways, including flight strips, to be built with federal aid, to establish urban areas, and to take such action as may be necessary to secure to the state the aid and benefits of the provisions of said act and all amendments thereto, including the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, and of the provisions of the Federal Highway Act of November 9, 1921, and all amendments thereto.

Source. 1917, 162:3. PL 88:4. RL 104:4. 1945, 188:1, part 11:4. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 239:4. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).

Section 235:5

    235:5 Maintenance. – Where, under these provisions, improvements are made within the limits of compact sections of cities and towns or upon highways not regularly maintained by the state, the same shall thereafter be maintained by said city or town to the satisfaction of the commissioner of transportation. In case any city or town fails to properly maintain the highway, it shall be maintained under the direction of the commissioner at the expense of the state, and the cost shall be paid by such city or town to the state treasurer. In default of such payment the state treasurer may issue an extent as provided in RSA 85 for the collection of such payment.

Source. 1937, 61:2. RL 104:5. 1945, 188:1, part 11:5. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 239:5. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 235:5, eff. Aug. 2, 1985; 402:6, I(b)(6).

Section 235:6

    235:6 Interstate Highways. – The commissioner of transportation is authorized to make initial selection within the state of the routes of the national system of interstate highways and to take joint action with the state highway departments of the adjoining states to select the routes of such system, as provided in the Federal Highway Act of November 9, 1921, and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 11:6. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 239:6. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).

Acceptance of Funds

Section 235:7

    235:7 Federal Funds. – Whenever the federal government shall make available to the state special grant of funds for construction or improvement of highways in the state by the terms of which grant the state is not required to make matching appropriations, the commissioner of transportation is authorized to accept such grants and to take such action as may be necessary to secure to the state the benefit of such grant.

Source. RSA 239-A:1. 1959, 284:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).

Section 235:8

    235:8 Expenditures. – In case of grants as provided in RSA 235:7 the commissioner of transportation is authorized to use any funds in the highway fund not specifically required to be used elsewhere in order to meet the necessary expenditure for the purposes for which the grant was authorized. When federal funds are received the same shall be used to reimburse the highway fund for expenditures made hereunder.

Source. RSA 239-A:2. 1959, 284:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).

Section 235:9

    235:9 Construction of Subdivision. – When federal funds are made available to the state for purposes hereof the amount of the grant accepted by the commissioner shall be deemed to be an appropriation of the same amount for the purposes hereof.

Source. RSA 239-A:3. 1959, 284:1. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

State Aid for Class I, II, and III Highways

Section 235:10

    235:10 Designation for Improvement. – The commissioner of transportation, whenever in his opinion the public good so requires, may designate for improvement, subject to the approval of the governor and council, any class I, II, or III highway or portion thereof.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 12:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 1988, 245:3, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 235:11

    235:11 Maintenance; Improved Portions. – Upon the completion of such improvement to the satisfaction of the commissioner of transportation, the department of transportation shall assume full control and pay the cost of reconstruction and maintenance.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 12:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:2. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(6), (b)(6).

Section 235:12

    235:12 Unimproved Portions. – All portions of class II highways which have not been improved to the satisfaction of the commissioner of transportation shall be maintained by the city or town in which they are located.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 12:3. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:3. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).

Section 235:13

    235:13 Notice to Towns. – On or before February 15 in each year, the commissioner of transportation shall notify all cities and towns which have expressed an interest in constructing or reconstructing any class I, II, or III highway or portion thereof, of the amount of state aid available to that city or town, and shall designate the highway location on which such funds shall be expended.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 12:4. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:4. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 1988, 245:4, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 235:14

    235:14 Application for State Aid; Compliance With Certain Standards. –
I. A city or town may apply to the commissioner of transportation for state aid on or before the first day of May in each year in the manner prescribed by the commissioner. The application shall state that such city or town has raised, appropriated, or set aside its contribution required for state aid.
II. The commissioner of transportation shall require that the highway design be in compliance with standards set forth in department of transportation manuals relating to bridge and highway construction and may adopt such manuals by reference.

Source. 1905, 35:3. PL 84:18. 1935, 17:3. RL 100:16. 1945, 188:1, part 12:5. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:5. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 2008, 143:2, eff. Aug. 5, 2008.

Section 235:15

    235:15 Cost; How Borne. – If any city or town desires state aid for the purpose of constructing or reconstructing a section of class I, II, or III highway, the town shall pay 1/3 of the cost and the state shall pay 2/3 of the cost.

Source. 1905, 35:4, 5. 1913, 18:1. PL 84:19, 20, 21. 1931, 7:1. 1935, 17:4. RL 100:17. 1945, 188:1, part 12:6. RSA 240:6. 1981, 87:1. 1988, 245:5, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 235:16

    235:16 Repealed by 1988, 245:13, I, eff. June 29, 1988. –

Section 235:17

    235:17 Joint Fund Expenditures. – Fifty percent of the contribution of a city or town for state aid shall be remitted to the commissioner of transportation before any state aid project is begun, and the balance shall be remitted on completion of the project, and such contribution, together with the amount apportioned to it by the commissioner of transportation shall constitute a joint fund to be expended under the supervision of the commissioner for the construction or reconstruction of only such class I, II, or III highways within such city or town as the commissioner shall have designated.

Source. 1935, 17:5. RL 100:19. 1945, 188:1, part 12:8. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:8. 1975, 6:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 1988, 245:6, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 235:18

    235:18 Repealed by 1988, 245:13, II, eff. June 29, 1988. –

Section 235:19

    235:19 Unexpended Funds. – Any part of such joint fund not expended during the year for which it is set apart and apportioned may be expended on class I, II, or III highways during any succeeding year at the discretion of the commissioner of transportation.

Source. 1935, 17:5. RL 100:20. 1945, 188:1, part 12:10. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:10. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 1988, 245:7, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 235:20

    235:20 Surplus Funds After Completion. – Whenever, upon the completion of a project on a class I, II, or III highway in any city or town, the joint fund has not been expended in full, the unexpended balance shall revert to the state and city or town in the same proportion as each contributed.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 12:11. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 240:11. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 1988, 245:8, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 235:21

    235:21 Additional Payment by State. – Where it appears that the class I, II, or III highway designated for improvement by the commissioner is of no particular benefit to a town, or, in cases where a town is unable to pay its proportion of such cost, the commissioner may, with the approval of the governor and council, pay such further expense as he may deem equitable.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 12:12. RSA 240:12. 1981, 87:1. 1988, 245:9, eff. June 29, 1988.

Construction and Reconstruction Aid

Section 235:22

    235:22 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, II, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:23

    235:23 Apportionment. –
All funds available to cities, towns and unincorporated places, pursuant to the provisions hereof, shall be allotted by the commissioner of transportation upon the following basis:
I. Apportionment A. In each fiscal year, the commissioner shall allocate an amount not less than 12 percent of the gross road toll revenue and motor vehicle fees collected in the preceding fiscal year to a local highway aid fund. This fund shall be distributed to each city, town, and unincorporated place on a formula in which 1/2 of the amount is based on the proportion which the mileage of regularly maintained class IV and class V highways in each municipality, as of January 1 of the previous year, bears to the total of such mileage in the state; and 1/2 of the amount is based on the proportion which the office of planning and development population estimate of each municipality bears to the latest estimate of the total population of the state as of July 1 of the year of the estimate. The aid to be distributed under this paragraph shall be in addition to all other state and federal aid specifically authorized by statute. In the event the appropriation for the disbursement required under this paragraph is insufficient, the governor is authorized to draw a warrant in the amount of the shortfall. Such warrant shall be a charge against the highway fund.
II. Apportionment B. The commissioner shall allot to each municipality a sum sufficient, when added to the amount which would be derived by a tax of $.11 on each $100 of the municipality's last equalized valuation, to equal $117 for each mile of regularly maintained class V highway in such municipality, except that for any year in which the total allocated to the municipalities under this formula shall be less than $400,000, the commissioner shall use such other figure in place of $117 for each mile of regularly maintained class V highway as may be necessary to make the total allotment not less than $400,000.
III. Apportionment C. The commissioner shall apportion to eligible municipalities the amount of federal aid funds which are available for their use.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 13:5. 1951, 83:1, part 13:2. 1953, 31:1. RSA 241:2. 1955, 333:3. 1957, 181:4; 273:3. 1965, 261:1. 1967, 280:1. 1969, 465:1. 1973, 418:4. 1975, 249:4. 1981, 87:1; 443:4. 1983, 122:3. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 2003, 319:9. 2004, 257:44, eff. July 1, 2004. 2015, 276:192, eff. July 1, 2015. 2017, 156:64, 241, eff. July 1, 2017. 2021, 91:198, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 235:23-a

    235:23-a Highway and Bridge Betterment Program; Funding. –
I. There is established a highway and bridge betterment program for the purpose of highway construction, reconstruction, and resurfacing, and for bridge construction, bridge reconstruction and bridge maintenance, in each highway district in the state and for the purpose of insuring adequate maintenance and improvement of that portion of the state highway system not supported with federal aid.
II. The program shall be funded from $.03 per gallon of the road toll imposed under RSA 260:32; of these revenues, in each fiscal year 88 percent shall be deposited into a separate account established in the highway fund called the highway and bridge betterment account, to be allocated as provided in paragraph III. The amount deposited into the highway and bridge betterment account is hereby continually appropriated and shall be nonlapsing. The remaining 12 percent shall be distributed in accordance with the formula in RSA 235:23, I, and shall be in addition to any amounts to be allocated under that paragraph.
III. Excluding funds under RSA 260:32-b, III(c) that are used for bridge work, the commissioner, based on budget appropriations, shall allocate and expend at least 70 percent of the funds in the highway and bridge betterment account for the 6 state highway districts in the following priority:
(a) [Repealed.]
(b) For each state highway district in the state, based upon a formula in which 1/2 of the amount of the funds distributed is based upon the proportion which the mileage of state-maintained class I, class II, and class III highways, excluding turnpikes, in each district, as of January 1 of the previous year, bears to the total of such mileage in the state; and 1/2 of the amount of the funds distributed is based upon the proportion which the number of state maintained class I, class II and class III highway bridges, excluding turnpikes, in each district as of January 1 of the previous year bears to the total of such number of bridges in the state. Due to timing of contracted work and actual expenditures, the commissioner shall use a rolling 5-year average to ensure that a minimum of 70 percent of the funds are expended in each district based on the formula. The commissioner shall distribute the remaining funds on a statewide basis to achieve regional equity based on condition, taking into account deviations in bid prices and existing infrastructure condition, excluding funds used for emergency repair.
IV. The commissioner shall prepare a report not later than December 1 of each year which details the way in which the transportation department has expended funds for highway construction, reconstruction, and resurfacing, and for bridge construction, bridge reconstruction and bridge maintenance according to the provisions of paragraph III. The report shall also clearly evaluate how well the betterment program is achieving its purpose using quantitative measures wherever practical. The report shall be submitted no later than December 1 of each year to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house, the governor, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the state library, the chairperson of the house public works and highways committee, and the chairperson of the senate capital budget committee.

Source. 1991, 249:2. 1992, 289:64, III. 1994, 155:3; 311:1, 2. 1995, 9:32. 1998, 101:1. 2007, 263:36, eff. July 1, 2007; 263:37, eff. July 1, 2009. 2017, 227:3, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 235:24

    235:24 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, III, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:25

    235:25 Notice to Towns. – On or before January 1 of each year, the commissioner shall notify all cities, towns and unincorporated places of the amounts of aid being allotted in each fiscal year. Payments shall be made as follows: 30 percent in July; 30 percent in October; 20 percent in January; and 20 percent in April. These funds shall be used only for highway construction, reconstruction or maintenance purposes. Whenever any city, town or unincorporated place is unable to utilize the full amount of this apportionment for highway construction, reconstruction or maintenance purposes in any given municipal fiscal year, the unused balance may be carried over to the following municipal fiscal year and expended for highway construction, reconstruction or maintenance purposes.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 13:2. 1951, 83:1, part 13:4. RSA 241:4. 1981, 87:1. 1983, 122:4, eff. July 1, 1983.

Section 235:26

    235:26 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, IV, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:27

    235:27 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, V, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:28

    235:28 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, VI, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:29

    235:29 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, VII, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:30

    235:30 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, VIII, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:31

    235:31 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, IX, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:32

    235:32 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, X, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:33

    235:33 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, XI, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:34

    235:34 State Contribution to Damage Losses. – Any city, town or unincorporated place which suffers damage to its highways through disaster which is estimated to exceed 1/8 of one percent of its assessed valuation shall be entitled to aid in the repair of such damage. The commissioner shall be notified of such damage and, after an investigation, shall estimate the amount of aid to which the city, town or unincorporated place is entitled. The commissioner shall survey the damaged highways and prepare an estimate of cost for rehabilitation of these highways, notifying the towns of the proportionate share which the state will contribute and the estimated amount of aid available. Aid to any city, town or unincorporated place shall be computed on that amount which is in excess of an amount equal to 1/8 of one percent of its assessed valuation and shall not exceed 75% of the cost of the damage in excess of this amount. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the city, town or unincorporated place from making such emergency repairs as are deemed necessary for public convenience; and such sum expended shall be considered part of the town's contribution.

Source. 1951, 83:1, part 13:12. RSA 241:13. 1971, 504:4. 1981, 87:1. 1983, 122:5, eff. July 1, 1983.

Section 235:35

    235:35 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, XII, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Section 235:36

    235:36 Repealed by 1983, 122:7, XIII, eff. July 1, 1983. –

Workmen on Joint Fund Projects

Section 235:37

    235:37 Work Done by Private Contractor. – The commissioner of transportation shall require every private contractor engaged in construction or maintenance work by contract with the state, county, city or town, on any state, state aid or town aid highway or bridge project, and who employs 5 or more persons in the state, to file with the commissioner of labor and commissioner of transportation of this state a declaration of acceptance of the provisions of RSA 281-A, "Workers' Compensation" before any work is begun on such project.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 15:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 244:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6). 1994, 158:16, eff. May 23, 1994.

Section 235:38

    235:38 Workmen To Be Town Employees. – Every workman on every state aid or town aid highway or bridge project, except workmen employed by the department of transportation in its engineering force or by private contractor engaged in construction or maintenance work on such project by contract with the state, county, city or town, shall be deemed to be in the employ of the county, city or town contributing to the cost of such project and not in the employ of the state.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 15:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 244:2. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(6).

Section 235:39

    235:39 Insurance; Charge Against Joint Fund. – When any county, town or city may have accepted the provisions of RSA 281, pursuant to RSA 281:7 and in which county, town or city there are spent state funds on any state aid or town aid highway or bridge project, the joint fund for such project may be charged that portion of premiums it pays for workers' compensation insurance which the commissioner of transportation determines to be the amount which should be allocated to such project.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 15:3. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 244:3. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(6).