Pawtucket-Central Falls transit hub breaks ground

ALL ONBOARD? The planned location of the new Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station is near the small structure on the left side of the tracks and runs across the tracks on both sides. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
ALL ONBOARD? The planned location of the new Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station is near the small structure on the left side of the tracks and runs across the tracks on both sides. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PAWTUCKET – Back in 2005, the city of Pawtucket began discussions with R.I. Department of Transportation about adding a commuter rail stop. More than a decade after its initial proposal, workers broke ground Friday on the Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station and Bus Hub.

RIDOT expects the project to be substantially completed by late 2021 and expects service would begin in the summer of 2022. The bus hub component of the project is expected to be operational by the end of 2020, relocating the R.I. Public Transit Authority bus hub on Roosevelt Avenue in Pawtucket to the new location near the intersection of Pine Street and Goff Avenue in Pawtucket.

The train station – with service offered by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority – will include dedicated platforms for both northbound and southbound service, connected by a pedestrian bridge overpass, elevators, ramps and stairs.

RIDOT said that ridership studies show that the station will attract an estimated 520 daily boardings.

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“These communities have longed for this transit center ever since the last station closed in the 1980s, and the concept of a new train station has been talked about for several years,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said in a statement. “At the new RIDOT, we’re pleased to finally bring all that talk into reality, into a new integrated transit facility for which we kick off construction today.”

The budget for the project is $47 million, including more than $38 million in federal funds, $5.9 million in state funds and $3 million, jointly, from Central Falls and Pawtucket. The project also includes dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes along Exchange Street and Goff Avenue to link the transit hub to the Downtown Pawtucket area, RIDOT said.

“I commend Mayor Grebien, Mayor Diossa, Governor Raimondo, RIDOT, and RIPTA for working together to develop a common vision to improve transportation options, advance smart growth, and create new economic opportunities in the area,” stated Sen. Jack Reed. “I will continue working at the federal level to continue to support smart transportation investment in the Ocean State.”

Construction of the project will be led by Barletta Heavy Division Inc., headquartered in Canton, Mass.

The project is part of the two municipalities’ newly named Conant Thread District plans.

 Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.

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