100 R.I. infrastructure projects to be accelerated with federal funding

GOV. DANIEL J. MCKEE announced on Wednesday that the state will be expediting over 100 infrastructure projects that are being funded through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act./PBN PHOTO/CASSIUS SHUMAN

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Daniel J. McKee on Wednesday said the state will use federal money to accelerate more than 100 infrastructure projects.

Rhode Island received $2.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The R.I. Department of Transportation will use most of the money to speed up projects that are greener, cleaner, safer and more equitable than more traditional planning has provided to Rhode Islanders.

McKee said the investment will focus on the state’s key infrastructure priorities, including fixing bridges in need of critical repair, reducing carbon emissions, increasing system resilience, and moving barriers for connecting communities.

“Fixing the state’s roads and bridges more quickly means safer roads, reduced time, to and from work, and reduced car repairs,” said McKee.

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Peter Alviti, director of the R.I. Department of Transportation, said, “This will bring the state’s roads and bridges into a state of good repair. It will make them safer, and bring them into a better state more quickly than we would have been able to realize otherwise.”

Alviti said the projects will see shovels in the ground in 2022. The acceleration of a portion of RIDOT’s infrastructure projects will cost $2.1 billion.

Through the Infrastructure Act, RIDOT will receive an additional $576 million over a five-year period to invest in transportation projects.

Alviti said RIDOT determined that the funding will allow the selected projects to be completed an average of four years sooner.

Alviti added RIDOT’s plan has been focused on upgrading the state’s deficient bridges, with 25% being structurally deficient.

“With these new funds, we will enhance our commitment to alternate modes of transportation and carbon reduction initiatives,” he said. “We are going to be more mindful of our effect on the environment and do our best to reduce [carbon] emissions wherever and whenever we can.”

McKee said the 100 projects include:

  • 22 projects with bike path infrastructure improvements.
  • 63 projects that include pedestrian walkway features.
  • 87 projects that will enhance stormwater quality.
  • 86 projects that make roads and walkways safer.

“All of these projects create good-paying jobs, as we continue our efforts to increase per capita income in the state,” said McKee.

Cassius Shuman is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Shuman@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @CassiusShuman.

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