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.