The COVID-19 shutdown continues to be visible on New Hampshire highways – or, rather, invisible, since the big difference is the cars that aren’t there.
That’s cars, not trucks: So far, the number of truck trips on the state’s turnpike system hasn’t declined very much, an indication that the supply chain of products seems to still be intact.
According to the state Department of Transportation, barely 1 million vehicle trips were made on the state’s turnpike system for week through Sunday, March 28, the lowest recorded in many years. That figure is one-third less than the 1.3 million trips of the prior week, and 54% less than than the 2.2 million trips during the same week a year ago.
Car trips fell by more than 300,000 last week to 830,000 by far the lowest this fiscal year, which started July 1, 2019. Total truck trips fell about 8,000 to 112,660 trips, which is still above four other weeks recorded this fiscal year.
Traffic has fallen so much that the state has stopped staffing EZPass tollbooths from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The turnpike system includes I-95, the Spaulding Turnpike, and the F.E. Everett Turnpike, which includes Rt. 3 and I-93 up through Concord.
Route 3 leaves the Everett Turnpike at exit 7 and continues north to the Canadian border on non-limited access highways and roadways.
Yes, it does – very confusing to visitors who assume the turnpike is Rt.3 all the way up.