US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has broke ground on nearly ten miles of heavily-trafficked freeway on New Hampshire’s Route 101 to be resurfaced under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The project is an example of a growing trend in the US where heightened competition between contractors is resulting in projects being bid for below initial estimates. While the original project estimate for Route 101 was $8.5m, the final bid from Pike Industries came in at $7.8m.

Secretary LaHood said that New Hampshire will now be able to stretch its federal dollars even further.

“This project is putting hundreds of people to work to rebuild Route 101, which will boost the local economy all along New Hampshire’s seacoast for years to come,” LaHood said.

NH Route 101 is a major east-west corridor in southern New Hampshire connecting Epping to Hampton, which serves as the main artery to New Hampshire’s seacoast as well as its largest city, Manchester.