Governor Donald L. Carcieri and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian joined representatives from the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, AMTRAK and MBTA for a briefing by Gilbane Construction on the construction of the intermodal transportation facility linking the Green State Airport with AMTRAK and MBTA commuter rail lines.
“With test piles complete and pile driving under way, we have reached a milestone in this project,” noted Carcieri. “This project is the culmination of the work of many people and agencies, especially Mayor Avedisian, who recognizes the significance that providing an easy link between air and rail transportation will have on Rhode Island’s economy.”
“I am so pleased that after years of planning and anticipating, construction of the Warwick Intermodal Train Station is under way,” Avedisian said. “This project has enabled us to work closely with the business community to bring significant development and redevelopment projects to the Station District, bolstering our commercial business base. Completion of the intermodal facility also will mean fewer cars traveling along Post and Airport roads, reducing pollution and making it more convenient for our residents.”
The project is a collaborative effort by the R.I. Airport Corporation, the R.I. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, involving AMTRAK and the MBTA.
Kevin Dillon, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said, “The economic and environmental benefits of this project should be underscored. Economic development opportunities will increase for both the city of Warwick and the state. Commuter rail service will remove cars from the road, resulting in less congested highways and improved air quality. Additionally, the intermodal will be an asset in trying to attract air service as airlines recognize the importance of connectivity for their passengers.”
When completed, the $267 million transportation hub will be the closest link to a major airport terminal in the nation. The Intermodal project will employ approximately 300 people during the peak of construction, and will involve a train platform, a six-level parking garage with 1,800 spaces for rental cars and 800 spaces for commuters, a 1,200-ft. elevated enclosed skywalk to shuttle passengers to and from the airport and a hub for local and intercity bus services.
“This is an important transportation project for our state as it provides an extension of commuter rail south of Providence to both Warwick and Wickford, providing our customers with an alternative to the automobile in these times of high fuel prices while at the same time helping to improve our environment,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. As construction progresses, the work is expected to be under way primarily between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. — although some work will be done at night. The construction is not expected to have any sizable impact on Amtrak service, since the work that impacts the track will be done within Amtrak schedules. Ultimately, the train will pass through and under the intermodal facility.