Worst road in RI? Burrillville council pleads for state action on Victory Highway

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BURRILLVILLE – In 2012, the deteriorated stretch of state roadway running from Sandhill Road to Route 107 was considered high priority for reconstruction by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, and listed for repair on the agency’s Transportation Improvement Program.

Construction plans reached 90 percent that year, and the town of Burrillville paid for additional design work for a half mile segment of the street from the intersection of Route 7, westward, to be included in the reconstruction project. At the time, Victory Highway was scheduled for reconstruction from 2013 to 2016.

A decade later with none of the paving work completed, the Burrillville Town Council is calling on state officials to take action, noting that at this point, Victory Highway may be one of the worst conditioned roadways in all of Rhode Island.

The heavily-traveled road is used by emergency services, and is also a route to bring students to and from school, notes a resolution requesting immediate reconsideration of plans for repair, passed unanimously by the council on Wednesday, March 8.

“I think they’re doing a disservice, not only to town services but the residents that travel this road,” said Councilor Jeremy Bailey. “They run the risk of rattling their car apart when they go down this road.”

In a 2012 letter to RIDOT engineer VIncent Palumbo, Burrillville Public Works Director Jeffrey McCormick notes that 25 years earlier, dewatering pipes in the roadway were capped with 5-gallon buckets and paved over for “reasons unknown.”

“Apparently it takes 20 years for a 5-gallon bucket to disintegrate, starting a sinkhole,” McCormick noted.

At the time, RIDOT was expected to spend $1,170,000 on repaving Victory Highway, with the town to kick in $70,000 for design.

Bailey noted that with the passage of years since, both residents and emergency responders are now at their “wit’s end.”

“Victory Highway is an important thoroughfare in Burrillville where the Burrillville Police Station,
which includes our town-wide communications center, and Oakland Mapleville Fire Station are located,
necessitating a large volume of emergency vehicles traveling over this road,” notes the resolution, also shared with the town’s General Assembly delegation.

“As far back as 2012/2013, the condition of the road and associated infrastructure was identified as
fair to poor, and the roadway and abutting infrastructure has certainly not improved in the eight years that have passed,” it states. “Victory Highway has to be one of the worse conditioned roadways in northern Rhode Island and possibly all of Rhode Island.”

“I didn’t realize how far back some of the commitments went,” Bailey said at the meeting this week.

RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin was not able to immediately provide comment on the delay when reached in the afternoon on Friday, March 17, but said information will be provided. On Tuesday, March 21, St. Martin said the agency had no comment at this time.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The annual public hearings on the municipal and school budgets will be held in May, as they are each year. The Town allocates a large percentage of the annual Ocean State Power tax agreement to put toward road repaving and improvements each year. This has been the case for decades. Some are clearly in more need than others and there is a ranked list for our town roads. At our meeting this week on April 12, there will be a presentation for the CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) proposed budget. The meeting is at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall. I hope to see “Mark” there as roads are on the agenda for discussion and I encourage him and all residents to please attend to have their voices heard. Church Street is a State road, unfortunately, but Maureen Circle, Stone Barn and others are high on the Town’s list for action. We drive on the same roads as everyone else. We only have so much money to spend each year, but trust me we are spending it every year to repave town roads. We are a large town, with a small population and funding is not unlimited. We work hard to keep our taxes in check and manageable for residents, while still repaving roads each year.

    • Respectfully Mr. Fox, I was at the Town Council meeting last night and the council elected to adopt a budget proposal from Mr. Wood which had stripped $400,000 allocated for our roads in lieu of a new municipal fuel depot building (and against the recommendation from the DPW and Budget Committee). There is a certain level of hypocrisy in calling out the state for unfulfilled promises on road repairs when those same promises are not kept at the town level.

      You reference a ranked list for town roads however I could not find that listing on the Burillville.org website. I know there used to be a 5 year road maintenance plan, is there any way that could uploaded in order to provide some additional transparency into the process?

  2. I want to know who’s paying to realign my truck front end and replace my missing teeth fillings after driving our rural roads, agreed stone barn and hill roads are embarrassing, guess we’ll just keep dumping cold patch in there instead of fixing them properly, but we have 5 million bucks for a new turf field at the highschool

    • Quinn, you said it right! Stone Barn Road and and the section of Hill Road (between Stone Barn & West Road) are MISRABLE! Those sections of road were “cold-place recycled” in 1993, 30-years ago.

      Victory Highway from Inman Road to Douglas Pike, and then from roughly Walling Road all the way to Sand Hill Road in Mapleville, and the little segment of East Ave between Victory Highway and Broncos Highway, are an absolute abomination!

      Figures RIDOT has no comment. Ridiculous! If this comment could include emojis, there would be a lot of angry faces.

  3. Another nightmare road in town – Church St in Pascoag, especially near Serios. You’re taking the life of your vehicle in your hands going over that road…unless you’re driving a 4WD truck. The roads in this town are a mess…it’s long past time the town and/or state get their act together and fix these almost impassable roads! Come on De La Cruz and Price, and the damn-near useless town council – earn your money and spend some on this!

  4. An interesting argument for the Town Council to make considering town roads are in the exact same condition. Maureen Circle was on the 2015 road improvement plan and NOTHING has been done. The road literally has large chunks of pavement strewn across the street, potholes the size of cars, and drainage grates sinking feet into the ground. The pavement moves under your feet as your walking if it’s rained recently. It would be nice for the Town Council to focus on their own responsibilities as well!

    • “It would be nice for the Town Council to focus on their own responsibilities as well!”

      They are too busy with FA sanctuary town policies and changing voting for school committee so only MAGAts get elected. Stuff that matters, like quality-of-life issues such as the roads, takes a back seat to politics.

  5. We have lived on Stone Barn for almost 10 years and it desperately needs to be repaved along with Hill Rd. When will they get done??

  6. The State roads are still not as bad as some of the town roads. Upper Hill Rd and Stone Barn Road have pretty much disintegrated and I have not seen them on the list of pending town road projects in the last couple of years.

  7. The taxpayers in Burrillville pay taxes to the State. For my vote I expect our State Representative David Price and State Senator Jessica de la Cruz to encourage the return of some of those taxes to Burrillville in the form of good roads.

    • Can’t spend tax payer money on taxpayers. That’s socalisim. It can only go to war and rich folks. Hope that clears up some confusion about our system.

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