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The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has adopted the use of data measuring during the construction drilling process and started the construction of all-electric tolling stations in the state. These initiatives are aimed at improving the quality of major corridors and increasing overall road safety as well as sustainability. 

Measurement While Drilling (MWD) 

The NHDOT introduced the use of Measurement While Drilling (MWD), an Advanced Geotechnical Methods in Exploration (A-GaME) technology developed to improve geotechnical site characterization, to improve the understanding of soil and rock properties during construction. MWD achieves this by using real-time data recording during the drilling process.  

Named as an Every Day Counts (EDC) round five Innovation, A-GaME technology helps reduce construction delays and uncertainties in subsurface conditions, while providing more reliable construction designs and geotechnical features in the highway system. 

In one of their June 2022 EDC newsletters, the Federal Highway Administration highlighted NHDOT’s use of MWD on a vital north/south 12-mile corridor that was constructed in the early 1950s. Since measurements are continuously obtained, MWD has the significant advantage of correctly identifying boundaries and material changes with depth. 

Using this technique, NHDOT was able to add information between standard penetration tests and obtain real-time data in between 5-foot samples. Not only did this aid in site characterization, but it also allowed the driller to see how the drill was reacting to subsurface materials in real time without any extra work or demand.  

All-Electronic Tolls 

In May 2022, the Foster’s Daily Democrat reported that the Spaulding Turnpike’s toll booths are being modernized and made cashless. These improvements will help maintain safer roads and reduce the volume of traffic braking, stopping, and accelerating, all of which are often associated with toll barriers.  

Over the course of the summer and into the fall, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation intends to replace the two toll booths located in Dover and Rochester. The NHDOT has been considering replacing the toll booths for a while. The current ones were constructed in the 1950s and according to NHDOT, are in poor condition.  

The current booths will be demolished and a new electronic tolling system will be installed. The system will use E-ZPass transponders or license plate data to impose tolls.  

Final approvals of the new electronic toll system are expected to come by December. While in Rochester, commuters can expect the new system to go “live” in late October, the Dover site is scheduled to be installed and tested in early November. 

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Sources: FHWA, NHDOT, Foster’s Daily Democrat