Tourism is New Hampshire’s second largest industry, pumping an estimated $5 billion a year into the economy.
Part of the engine that drives the tourism is the network of state and locally maintained highways and roads used by visitors and residents alike to access the sites and attractions.
To learn more about building and maintaining New Hampshire's roads and highways--and how they're paid for--visit our Transportation Infrastructure issue page.
Trouble spot in Conway
Route 16 is one such north-south link, through Conway and North Conway to access Pinkham Notch, Crawford Notch, Mount Washington, and other areas in the North Country.
But the Route 16 traffic often bottlenecks -- approaching Conway Village from the south and the other coming into North Conway from the north -- resulting in long lines of traffic and frustrated motorists.
The bypass: a possible solution
The proposed 11-mile Conway Bypass would connect Madison with North Conway, skirting the bottleneck areas with the construction of a new North South Road [is this the proper name of the road that would be built? Or do we mean 'a north-south road'] and the rebuilding and upgrading of existing roadways.
Land for the bypass has been acquired with the help of about $34 million in federal funding, but final action by the state Department of Transportation has yet to be taken in order to start construction.
Pro and con
Proponents say the project needs to move forward to ease the congestion and get tourists -- and residents -- to and from their destinations without the frustration of traffic delays.
Opponents say the project isn’t worth the expense because congestion isn’t as bad as it was when the bypass was first proposed and that the acquired land should be used for other purposes such as a recreation path.
Is a Conway bypass important to the state’s tourism economy? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.