|For Immediate Release
May 18, 2011
Public Information Office
|New Roadside "Service Patrol" Being Introduced On I-95
Pilot Project Will Run From Exit 7 To The Mass. State Line
Motorists stranded with minor vehicle problems on Interstate 95 from Portsmouth to Seabrook will soon find help. Beginning Friday, May 20, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is introducing "service patrols" on I-95, from Exit 7 to the Massachusetts state line during early morning and afternoon commuting hours. The goal is to reduce the potential for significant traffic tie-ups by clearing minor incidents, such as flat tires, charging a battery, or vehicle overheating, as quickly as possible.
The service patrol initiative is a three-month pilot project during I-95 peak summer traffic. Outfitted pick-up trucks operated by NHDOT Turnpike personnel will make continuous loops between Exit 7 in Portsmouth and Exit 60 in Salisbury, Massachusetts, stopping for all incidents encountered. The service patrols will operate during early morning and late afternoon hours from Monday through Friday, on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays. Some extra coverage may be added on holidays and for special events. The estimated cost of the pilot project is $40,000.
This service should improve safety along the corridor. Minor incidents like flat tires and running out of fuel on a congested highway have the potential to cause secondary incidents, which are typically more serious in nature. Service patrols can help reduce the potentially significant impacts of otherwise minor incidents by lending assistance to stranded motorists. Also, studies have shown that even minor incidents on the shoulder of a busy highway can have a significant impact on lane capacity, vehicle speeds, and driver safety because drivers tend to shy away from fixed or still objects near the travel way.
Service patrols that have been in effect for three years on I-93, from the state line to Exit 5, have been very well received by motorists and NH State Police. Results have shown reduced vehicle breakdown time by approximately 102 hours per month.
The service patrols will communicate with the NHDOT's Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Concord, which has direct contact with State Police and other emergency responders. Those in need of minor roadside assistance can also call the TMC at 271-6TMC (271-6862).