New Hampshire Highway System

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New Hampshire Highway System
NH Route 9.svgNH Route 16A.svgNH Route 28.svgNH Route 101.svg
Standard marker for New Hampshire Routes, featuring the Old Man of the Mountain
System information
Length: 4,814 mi (7,747 km)
Notes: NHDOT maintains 17,029 mi (27,406 km) of roads in total
Highway names
Interstates: Interstate n (I-n)
US Routes: U.S. Route n (US n or Route n)
State: New Hampshire Route n (Route n)
System links
New Hampshire Routes

The New Hampshire Highway System is the public roads system of the U.S. state of New Hampshire containing approximately 17,029 miles (27,406 km) maintained by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). All public roads in the state are called "highways", thus there is no technical distinction between a "road" or a "highway" in New Hampshire.


The state maintains 4,814 miles (7,747 km) of roads, of which 2,567 miles (4,131 km) are numbered routes and 1,465 miles (2,358 km) are unnumbered roadways making up the state's secondary roadway system. The state has 557 miles (896 km) of primary highways, which it defines as highways that "connect population centers, other NHS routes within the state, and other NHS routes in the surrounding states: Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts." The remaining 12,215 miles (19,658 km) of roads are maintained typically by the towns and cities traversed by these roads.

Highways assigned a number by the NHDOT are officially known as "New Hampshire Route X", often abbreviated "NH Route X" or simply "Route X".

Many minor state highways are not assigned numbers, only local names.

In March 2011, New Hampshire ranked amongst the top ten "Best" states in the American State Litter Scorecard, for overall effectiveness and quality of its public space cleanliness—primarily roadway and adjacent litter—from state and related debris removal efforts.[1]

Interstate highways[edit]

A total of 224.2 miles (360.8 km) of roadway in New Hampshire are part of the Interstate Highway system.

Turnpike system[edit]

The NHDOT Bureau of Turnpikes is responsible for maintenance of the public toll roads in New Hampshire:

  • The Frederick E. Everett Turnpike (also known as the Central Turnpike) runs from the Massachusetts state line in Nashua north to Concord. It is routed along parts of U.S. Route 3, Interstate 293, and Interstate 93. It runs by itself between US 3 in Nashua and I-293 in Manchester and the only turnpike in New Hampshire not completely overlapped with another route. The turnpike is unsigned along its concurrency with I-93. The northern terminus is at I-93's exit 14 in Concord.
  • The Eastern Turnpike is composed of the following two connecting turnpikes:
    • The Blue Star Turnpike (unsigned - also known as the New Hampshire Turnpike) runs 14.3 miles (23.0 km) from the Massachusetts border in Seabrook north to the Portsmouth Traffic Circle, where it connects with the southern end of the Spaulding Turnpike. The Blue Star Turnpike comprises most of Interstate 95's length in New Hampshire (minus the extension north into Maine) and is signed solely as I-95.
    • The Spaulding Turnpike, which begins at an interchange with I-95 in Portsmouth and runs northward along the Maine state line to Milton. Formerly a lone route, NH 16 was routed over all but the southernmost 0.8 miles (1.3 km) of the turnpike. US 4's easternmost stretch is also routed over the southern section of the Spaulding Turnpike, between I-95 and exit 6.

National Highway System[edit]

782 miles (1,259 km) of state-maintained roads are a part of the National Highway System (NHS). Of the NHS roads in the state, 225 miles (362 km) are Interstate highways (35 miles (56 km) of which are also on the New Hampshire Turnpike System; 52 miles (84 km) of non-interstate turnpike highways; and 505 miles (813 km) of non-interstate and non-turnpike highways.

Classification of state highways[edit]

New Hampshire RSA 229:5 Classification. sets out the seven different classes of highways in the state:

  • Class I – all portions of the turnpikes and the national system of interstate and defense highways, and all existing or proposed highways on the primary state highway system, excepting all portions of highways within the compact sections of the cities and towns listed in RSA 229:5, V., which aren't part of the state or national turnpike system or are defense highways
  • Class II – all existing or proposed highways on the secondary state highway system, excepting all portions of such highways within the compact sections of the cities and towns listed in RSA 229:5, V.
  • Class III – all recreational roads leading to, and within, state reservations designated by the General Court
  • Class III-a – boating access highways from any existing highway to any public water in this state.
  • Class IV – all highways within the compact sections of cities and towns listed in RSA 229:5, V., which are not Class I or II highways
  • Class V – all other traveled highways which a town has the duty to maintain regularly and shall be known as town roads
  • Class VI – all other existing public ways, including all highways discontinued as open highways and made subject to gates and bars, except Class III-a roads, and all highways which have not been maintained and repaired by the town for travel thereon for 5 or more successive years

Under RSA 229:5, V. the Commissioner of Transportation may establish compact sections in the following cities and towns:


Routes crossing state lines[edit]

Two New Hampshire state routes actually cross state lines while retaining their designations:

  • New Hampshire Route 113B, which is actually a loop of Maine State Route 113, is the only New Hampshire highway to cross entirely into Maine while remaining a New Hampshire route.
  • New Hampshire Route 153, part of which runs directly on the Maine-New Hampshire state border for a short distance, touches the state of Maine but does not cross the border entirely.

In addition, Maine State Route 113 crosses in and out of New Hampshire along two short stretches. It remains under MaineDOT maintenance along these stretches.

Signage practices[edit]

Shield for NH 28 Bypass

State highways[edit]

NH Route 108.svg

State highways in New Hampshire are marked using square route shields depicting the Old Man of the Mountain. Unlike its neighboring states, New Hampshire does not use elongated shields for route markers, but uses condensed fonts for three-digit routes instead.

Alternates of two- and three- digit routes (e.g. NH 113B) are signed with the parent highway's number over the letter of the alternate.

New Hampshire also has one "bypass" state route, NH 28 Bypass, which is marked with a standard NH 28 shield, except with the word "BYPASS" over the numeral. NH 101 has its own business route, but is very poorly signed.

U.S. highways[edit]

Shield for US 1 Bypass
US 302 square.svg

New Hampshire uses the standard issue U.S. Route shield, a six-point white shield over a black square background. New Hampshire contains parts of the four lowest-numbered primary US highways: US 1, US 2, US 3 and US 4.

New Hampshire does not use elongated route shields for U.S Routes, except on the occasional guide sign from a freeway. Condensed fonts are used instead. US 2 is the only primary US highway in New Hampshire with any child routes, of which two are present: US 202 and US 302.

Alternates of U.S. Routes in New Hampshire are signed as state routes, with two exceptions: US 1 Bypass and US 3 Business. US 1 Bypass is signed in a similar fashion to NH 28 Bypass: a standard US 1 shield with the word "BY-PASS" over the numeral. US 3 Business is unsigned, as it is completely overlapped by other routes. US 302 also has a business route but it is unsigned - it is entirely overlapped by NH 16A.

Interstate highways[edit]


New Hampshire uses standard-issue Interstate shields for its two-digit Interstate highways, of which there are three - I-89, I-93 and I-95.

Elongated shields were not initially used for auxiliary Interstates, but such shields are appearing on newer signage. New Hampshire no longer uses its state name on Interstate shields, but older signs with the state name are still prevalent. New Hampshire contains the only two auxiliaries of I-93: I-293 and I-393.

Exit numbering[edit]

New Hampshire is one of the few states that still uses sequential exit numbering on its freeways, including all Interstate highways, the Turnpike routes, as well as the NH 101 freeway between Manchester and Hampton. Exits to Interstate Highways are not assigned numbers, with the exception of I-93 to I-393 in Concord. The only numbering anomaly is the absence of exit 21 on I-93.

Major junctions and route concurrencies[edit]

New Hampshire, in contrast to most other states, normally signs route junctions using green guide signs (similar to those found on freeways) instead of individual sign and shield assemblies. New Hampshire also signs nearly all route concurrencies in the same way. The exceptions tend to be in urban areas, where signage is generally lacking (and outdated) to begin with, and many cities tend to use the more traditional signage due to space constraints. Outside of the cities, New Hampshire's routes are generally signed well.

Numbered state highways[edit]

1-25 26-103 104-126 127-393 Other routes Former routes

US 1.svg U.S. Route 1

US 2.svg U.S. Route 2
US 3.svg U.S. Route 3

US 4.svg U.S. Route 4
NH Route 4.svg NH Route 4

NH Route 9.svg NH Route 9

NH Route 10.svg NH Route 10

NH Route 11.svg NH Route 11

NH Route 12.svg NH Route 12

NH Route 13.svg NH Route 13
NH Route 16.svg NH Route 16

NH Route 18.svg NH Route 18
NH Route 25.svg NH Route 25

NH Route 26.svg NH Route 26
NH Route 27.svg NH Route 27
NH Route 28.svg NH Route 28

NH Route 31.svg NH Route 31
NH Route 32.svg NH Route 32
NH Route 33.svg NH Route 33
NH Route 38.svg NH Route 38
NH Route 41.svg NH Route 41
NH Route 43.svg NH Route 43
NH Route 45.svg NH Route 45
NH Route 47.svg NH Route 47
NH Route 49.svg NH Route 49
NH Route 63.svg NH Route 63
NH Route 75.svg NH Route 75
NH Route 77.svg NH Route 77
NH Route 78.svg NH Route 78
NH Route 84.svg NH Route 84
NH Route 85.svg NH Route 85
NH Route 87.svg NH Route 87
NH Route 88.svg NH Route 88
I-89.svg Interstate 89
I-93.svg Interstate 93
I-95.svg Interstate 95
NH Route 97.svg NH Route 97
NH Route 101.svg NH Route 101

NH Route 102.svg NH Route 102
NH Route 103.svg NH Route 103

NH Route 104.svg NH Route 104
NH Route 106.svg NH Route 106
NH Route 107.svg NH Route 107

NH Route 108.svg NH Route 108
NH Route 109.svg NH Route 109

NH Route 110.svg NH Route 110

NH Route 111.svg NH Route 111

NH Route 112.svg NH Route 112
NH Route 113.svg NH Route 113

NH Route 114.svg NH Route 114

NH Route 115.svg NH Route 115

NH Route 116.svg NH Route 116
NH Route 117.svg NH Route 117
NH Route 118.svg NH Route 118
NH Route 119.svg NH Route 119
NH Route 120.svg NH Route 120
NH Route 121.svg NH Route 121

NH Route 122.svg NH Route 122
NH Route 123.svg NH Route 123

NH Route 124.svg NH Route 124
NH Route 125.svg NH Route 125
NH Route 126.svg NH Route 126

NH Route 127.svg NH Route 127
NH Route 128.svg NH Route 128
NH Route 129.svg NH Route 129
NH Route 130.svg NH Route 130
NH Route 132.svg NH Route 132
NH Route 135.svg NH Route 135
NH Route 136.svg NH Route 136
NH Route 137.svg NH Route 137
NH Route 140.svg NH Route 140
NH Route 141.svg NH Route 141
NH Route 142.svg NH Route 142
NH Route 145.svg NH Route 145
NH Route 149.svg NH Route 149
NH Route 150.svg NH Route 150
NH Route 151.svg NH Route 151
NH Route 152.svg NH Route 152
NH Route 153.svg NH Route 153
NH Route 155.svg NH Route 155

NH Route 156.svg NH Route 156
NH Route 171.svg NH Route 171
NH Route 175.svg NH Route 175

US 202 square.svg U.S. Route 202

NH Route 236.svg NH Route 236
NH Route 286.svg NH Route 286
I-293.svg Interstate 293
US 302 square.svg U.S. Route 302

I-393.svg Interstate 393

Everett Turnpike.svg Everett Turnpike
Spaulding Turnpike.svg Spaulding Turnpike

Other states' route numbers posted in New Hampshire:
Vermont 105.svg Route 105 (Vermont)
MA Route 110.svg Route 110 (Maine)
MA Route 113.svg Route 113 (Maine)

Former numbered routes:
NH Route 3B.svg NH Route 3B
US 5.svg U.S. Route 5
NH Route 51.svg NH Route 51
NH Route 86.svg NH Route 86
Business Loop 89.svg I-89 Business Loop
NH Route 101B.svg NH Route 101B
NH Route 101C.svg NH Route 101C
NH Route 101D.svg NH Route 101D
I-193.svg Interstate 193

New England Interstate Routes

New England 1.svg New England Route 1
New England 6.svg New England Route 6
New England 6A.svg New England Route 6A
New England 9.svg New England Route 9
New England 10.svg New England Route 10
New England 11.svg New England Route 11
New England 12.svg New England Route 12
New England 15.svg New England Route 15
New England 16.svg New England Route 16
New England 18.svg New England Route 18
New England 19.svg New England Route 19
New England 25.svg New England Route 25
New England 26.svg New England Route 26
New England 28.svg New England Route 28
New England 32.svg New England Route 32
New England 32A.svg New England Route 32A

Unnumbered state highways[edit]

Several unnumbered roads also are maintained by the state, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spacek, Steve (March 13, 2011). "American State Litter Scorecard: New Rankings for an Increasingly Environmentally Concerned Populace". American Society for Public Administration Conference. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]