New Hampshire troopers get out their tape measures

| 8/20/2002

According to the Bangor Daily News, three weeks ago New Hampshire troopers started cracking down on truckloads they say were ignoring the state's road height limit: 13 feet, 6 inches. Now manufactured homes cannot be hauled into the state, leaving families who bought the homes in a quandary.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Stephen Gray said the 13-foot 6-inch maximum height was adopted by the state in 1986. Gray reportedly said New Hampshire allows for larger loads to be specially permitted, but that the state requires an engineering review of the entire route and must hold a public hearing before each special permit is issued.

Gray also said that the recent crackdown could be blamed largely on manufacturers, which he believes have been listing false information on the permits of the transported homes. "We're the target of a lot of blame, but I really believe it's a little misdirected," Gray said of New Hampshire.

"If -- a manufactured home -- is 14 feet, 2 inches now, what was it last week?" When troopers discovered last week that manufactured homes were exceeding the permitted height, they got out the tape measures, he said.

Alternative routes for taller homes being considered by authorities. Possibilities include I-89 and I-93 and state Routes 101, 125, 16 and 202. Truckers also can deliver homes through Canada, but that route takes longer and is more expensive.

Wednesday, the Daily News reported that sales of manufactured and modular homes in Maine each year total about $80 million. As many as 100 homes have been ordered and could be affected if a solution between New Hampshire and the manufacturers is not reached soon.

Meanwhile trucks loaded with manufactured and modular homes have been seen at rest stops in southern Maine, waiting for a chance to enter New Hampshire.