Northern RI – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has announced an accelerated timeline for repair to several major roadways in the northern corner of the state, with four large-scale repaving projects covering some 12 miles of busy routes through the region now scheduled to begin this year.
The roads are among more than 100 expedited infrastructure improvements in the state valued at $2.1 billion now scheduled to begin within the next two years. A $576 million boost in federal money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in 2021 will help to fund the work.
In Glocester, around 5.5 miles of Route 44 will be repaved starting this year, according to a list released on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
“The project list includes 22 projects with bike path infrastructure improvements, 63 projects that include pedestrian walkway features, 87 that will enhance stormwater quality, and 86 that that make roads and walkways safer,” noted the release from RIDOT. “The projects represent initiatives that are ready to go, with many of them starting this year.”
RIDOT is now expected to begin repair on two segments of Route 44 in 2022: a 1.4 mile stretch from Reservoir Road to Money Hill Road originally scheduled for construction in 2031; and a roughly 4 mile area from Sprague Hill Road to the Connecticut state line once scheduled for 2029. The two projects account for around $7 million in spending.
Road work this year will also address a 2.4 mile segment of Reservoir Road in Burrillville and Glocester stretching from Route 44 to South Main Street. That project, originally scheduled for 2031, is expected to cost $1.95 million.
In North Smithfield, Route 7/Douglas Pike will get a makeover in 2022 with a project extending from the Burrillville town line all the way to Providence, including four miles through town. The repairs will address around 16 miles of roadway in total, originally scheduled for 2026, at a cost of $20.5 million.
And another large-scale project will begin in 2023, when RIDOT plans to tackle Route 94 in Glocester and Foster, repaving 13 miles from Route 102 to Route 44 at a cost of $6.71 million.
Combined, projects across the state valued at $2.1 billion will begin an average of four years sooner.
“Matching state funding will be combined with the federal funds to accelerate these improvements to Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure while also creating new jobs for Rhode Islanders,” noted the release.
The release notes that over the past six years, prior to the funding, RIDOT already successfully initiated 224 projects and completed 171 of them, including 168 bridges, with all ongoing work currently on-time and on-budget. Projects scheduled for repair as part of the agency’s ten year plan were prioritized for acceleration according to factors including risk level, and whether or not construction was ready to begin.
“The funding criteria provided in the [Federal Highway Administration] guidance allows RIDOT to enhance our
‘state of good repair’ projects with elements that help combat the climate crisis, and advance equitable access to transportation,” RIDOT noted. “It provides adequate, stable and reliable funding for all projects being moved up in the Ten-Year-Plan.”
The narrative notes that RIDOT will now begin the process of amending the State Transportation Improvement Program with the changes.