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Rhode Island Governor Kicks Off State's Road Building Season at I-95 Project

Wed April 26, 2023 - Northeast Edition #10
State of Rhode Island Newsroom

The $410 million Route 6/10 Interchange will be worked on in Rhode Island this year. (RIDOT photo)
The $410 million Route 6/10 Interchange will be worked on in Rhode Island this year. (RIDOT photo)

With the spring weather warm enough to begin Rhode Island's 2023 road and bridge construction season, Gov. Dan McKee led a contingent of state and local leaders in a groundbreaking ceremony on April 13 to kick off the multiple projects scheduled for the year.

McKee was joined by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Congressmen David Cicilline and Seth Magaziner, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti Jr., among others, at the Interstate 95 North Welcome Center in Richmond to break ground for the Interstate 95 Resurfacing Project.

The $19.3 million project will resurface both directions of I-95 from the Connecticut state line in Hopkinton to the Baker Pines Bridge in Richmond, near Exit 7, covering 18 mi. of freeway.

It is one of many paving projects that was accelerated due to the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The new funds allowed RIDOT to begin the project one year sooner and extend the length of highway to be paved by 1.5 mi.

McKee noted that paving will be a key focus of the 2023 construction season statewide. RIDOT is in its second year of investing nearly $500 million in resurfacing projects, restoring many roadways that had been neglected for decades.

The I-95 Resurfacing Project is one of 66 such projects, valued at $1.9 billion, that RIDOT will work on this year. In addition to paving projects, the IIJA has accelerated about 100 projects in the department's 10-year-plan. These projects include bridge rehabilitation, resurfacing, traffic safety projects, stormwater and bike/pedestrian improvements.

"We look forward to another great year for road and bridge construction creating good paying jobs and providing Rhode Islanders safer and smoother roads," said McKee. "Thanks to our congressional delegation and the Biden Administration, we are able to maximize this important work across our state."

Projects Large, Small Slated for Work in 2023

In addition to the I-95 Paving Project, other major paving projects that will be under way in 2023 include:

  • On I-295, from where RIDOT finished paving last fall at Greenville Avenue in Johnston and continuing all the way to I-95 in Warwick.
  • U.S. Highway 1 and R.I. Route 1A/Post Road, from Coronado Road to Warwick Avenue in Warwick.
  • R.I. Route 2, from R.I. Route 138 in South Kingstown to the Charlestown town line.
  • R.I. Route 138A/Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown.
  • R.I. Route 1A, from Wickford village to the Sprague Bridge in Narragansett.

"Construction season is officially under way, and this is going to be a busy one thanks to the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we passed," noted Democratic Sen. Reed. "Across Rhode Island, federal funds are being put to work improving our bridges and roads and modernizing our transportation infrastructure. Folks are going to see a lot more ‘road work ahead' signs in the coming weeks and months. We appreciate everyone's patience safely navigating through work zones, and the end result will be a smoother, safer, more efficient ride and improved roadways for many years to come."

In addition, a number of major projects also will be worked on in Rhode Island this year, including:

  • The $410 million Route 6/10 Interchange in Providence.
  • The $265 million I-95 Viaduct Northbound project, also in Rhode Island's capital city.
  • In Smithfield, the $196 million R.I. Route 146 construction.
  • The $85 million Cranston Canyon road corridor project.
  • In Newport, the $84.9 million Pell Bridge ramps.
  • The $84.4 million Henderson Bridge project over the Seekonk River, connecting the cities of Providence and East Providence.
  • The $79.5 million Route 37 Bridges project is a critical east-west freeway in central Rhode Island, linking the cities of Cranston and Warwick.
  • The $78 million Washington Bridge rehabilitation project will address the structural deficiencies of the westbound part of the structure, which carries I-195 over the Seekonk River between East Providence and Providence.

"The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating infrastructure improvements across Rhode Island, including through a new massive investment in the Pell Bridge via the INFRA Grant Program that I worked on in the Environment and Public Works Committee," explained Whitehouse. "I'm looking forward to seeing continued progress on rebuilding Route 146 and the Providence Viaduct this construction season — two other INFRA-funded projects."

RIDOT Director Alviti noted that in addition to Rhode Island's long-awaited paving projects his agency will be handling this year, he expects it will make significant gains on some of its largest projects and begin work on dozens of new ones.

"Adding to all those work zones, motorists can expect to see crews from our Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division maintaining bridges, cleaning storm drains, cutting grass, picking up litter, and performing dozens of other vital tasks to keep our transportation system clean and functioning properly."

Now in its eighth year, RIDOT's RhodeWorks program has initiated 283 projects and completed the repair or replacement of 246 bridges, with 135 bridges currently under construction.

In total RIDOT has invested $3.2 billion into Rhode Island's transportation system.

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