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TIGER Funds to Accelerate Providence Viaduct Project

Tue July 31, 2012 - Northeast Edition
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Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and RIDOT announced that the receipt of $10 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program will allow the department to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Providence Viaduct and begin work late this year.
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and RIDOT announced that the receipt of $10 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program will allow the department to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Providence Viaduct and begin work late this year.

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that the receipt of $10 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program will allow the department to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Providence Viaduct and begin work late this year. This 1,290-ft. (393.2 m) multi-span bridge carries I-95 through the heart of Providence and carries more traffic than any other segment of the interstate in Rhode Island.

RIDOT intends to replace this bridge in phases to minimize the impact of its estimated $169 million cost by spreading it over several years. The additional funding from the grant will allow RIDOT to begin the first phase a full year earlier than expected. It is the department’s goal to advertise for construction bids later this summer and secure a contractor for the project by the end of the year. It is anticipated that the contractor will do preparatory work over the winter and break ground in spring 2013.

The Providence Viaduct crosses the Woonasquatucket River, Route 6, Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and other ramps and local roads. It carries an average of 160,000 vehicles per day. While safe for all traffic, the 48-year-old bridge has significant deterioration to its deck and main structural steel components. The bridge’s replacement is a top priority before additional funds have to be spent on emergency repairs.

With the additional grant funding in hand, the department estimates that it can complete the first phase of construction in three years, wrapping up by late 2015. This work will include construction of a new bridge for I-95 southbound and relocation of traffic on I-95 South to the new bridge. This phase also will include construction of a new Atwells Avenue off-ramp (Exit 21) and modifications to the ramp from I-95 South to Route 6 West (Exit 22B).

Through three additional phases, RIDOT will relocate I-95 northbound traffic to the original southbound bridge, replace the existing I-95 North bridge, and demolish the original highway bridges once all traffic has been relocated to new structures. Partial reconstruction of the on-ramps to the northbound structure also is included in the project. All of the work is projected to be completed in 2018.

Additional information on the project and the grant application can be found at: www.providenceviaduct.com.

Those with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at

401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to

4 p.m.