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(NECN: Lauren Collins, Epping, N.H.) - The first highway project in New Hampshire that is supported by federal stimulus dollars has gotten underway. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood was on the scene as construction workers broke ground Friday morning on a 9.5 mile paving project on Route 101. The project is one of seven roadway projects in the state to go ahead due to the support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects are expected to create or save up to 250 jobs. Those jobs range from the men and women you see on the side of the highway, to those back in the office, and the many sub-contractors, engineers, and architects that are needed for projects of this scope. Federal dollars will support a thousand miles of paving projects in the state over the next 18 months. Only 250 miles had been appropriated in the current budget. Pike Industries of Belmont, New Hampshire won the bids for those paving operations -- five in all. The company has already hired 15 people and is processing the applications of an additional thirty to get the work done. In addition to the Route 101 stretch, federal dollars are going toward four other paving jobs, the widening of Interstate 93 and the airport connector ramp that will provide direct access from the Everett Turnpike to Manchester Boston Regional Airport. NECN's Lauren Collins reports.