PROVIDENCE – A ceremony celebrating the beginning of the 6-10 Interchange project took place Monday morning at 1 Magnolia St. in the city.
R.I. Department of Transportation Director Peter Alvitti Jr. said that commuters could expect to see work on the interchange as soon as the end of the year, or the spring of 2019.
Alvitti stressed that the final plan was a consensus effort that will improve regional transit while remaining sensitive to neighborhoods’ needs and wants.
Elected officials present at the event, including U.S. sens. Jack F. Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, R.I. Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, D-Providence, and Providence City Council David Salvatore, all credited Gov. Gina M. Raimondo for spearheading the project.
Raimondo and Alvitti made it clear that the project was a result of a collective effort, noting that approximately 80 percent of the 6-10 project is funded through federal infrastructure funding secured by the state’s congressional delegation.
“When we all first gathered at this site two years ago, it was to articulate a shared vision,” said Alvitti. “The 6-10 Interchange was the symbol of what we absolutely had to do in Rhode Island – rebuild our infrastructure. We gathered to express our commitment to that process. Today we are fulfilling that commitment.”
Added Whitehouse, “Gov. Raimondo is leading the charge on this enormously important project to invest in the local economy and the quality of life for Rhode Island motorists. The delegation will keep fighting for every available federal dollar to continue putting Rhode Islanders back to work upgrading our infrastructure.”
“For too long, the disrepair of this interchange symbolized Rhode Island’s failure to invest in ourselves,” Raimondo said. “Today, we’re taking a big step forward. Working with federal, state and local supporters, RIDOT will revitalize the 6-10, bringing it into a state of good repair while also creating greenspace, bike paths and good construction jobs for Rhode Islanders.”
Elorza said that it was important that the plan reconnect neighborhoods that had been bisected by the 6-10 exchange to “rebuild the fabric of [the] city.” The mayor also stressed the importance of the project allowing for alternate modes of transportation for commuters who bike or walk to work.
The project will include simultaneous design and construction. Design is expected to be completed in one year, with 20 percent of design already finished.
The project is expected to cost $410 million. The 6-10 Constructors’ design-build contract is for $248 million.
The team, known as 6-10 Constructors, is led by Barletta Heavy Division Inc. and includes contractors O&G Industries Inc., D.W. White Construction Inc. and Aetna Bridge Co. The project’s design team is led by AECOM with sub-consulting from VHB, Commonwealth Engineers & Consultants Inc. Crossman Engineering and McMahon Associates.
The 6-10 Interchange project joins the ongoing Providence viaduct reconstruction as a major infrastructure investment taking part in the Capital City. Coming soon to the viaduct reconstruction will be a redesign of the Interstate 95-Route 146 interchange, which could also have an impact on traffic entering and leaving the city. RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin confirmed that it was possible that the 6-10 Interchange project could overlap with the Viaduct construction at some point.
However, Alvitti noted that 6-10 Constructors’ pitch was specifically designed to mitigate traffic with techniques such as accelerated bridge construction during the project.
Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.