Rhode Island gets $47M in federal aid to upgrade the state’s bridges

RHODE ISLAND is the beneficiary of $47 million in federal funding for bridge repairs in addition to the $2.5 billion it will be receiving from the Biden administration's Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, which passed in November. Pictured is the Henderson Bridge, which is being upgraded as part of the R.I. Department of Transportation's plans for upgrading the state's deficient bridges. /PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island is getting $47 million in federal funding to upgrade structurally deficient bridges.

The R.I. Department of Transportation is in the process of fixing many of the state’s structurally deficient bridges, including work that is being done on the Henderson Bridge.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., announced the state’s receipt of the funding on Friday, which is in addition to the $2.5 billion Rhode Island is receiving per the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that passed Congress in November.

Reed said that about $235.5 million of that federal funding will be allocated for upgrading the state’s bridges over the next five years.

- Advertisement -

Reed’s office said that along with the $47 million to fix bridges this year, Rhode Island will receive a projected $289 million in base formula funding from the highway portion of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The federal funds will be invested in community priorities, including investments in upgrading the state’s airports, transportation, and electric vehicle charging networks.

Of the 777 bridges in Rhode Island, 148, or 19%, are classified as structurally deficient, meaning one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Reed, a senior member of the U.S. Appropriations Committee, said that RIDOT has been making a concerted effort over the last several years to reduce the percentage of deficient bridges in the state.

“This federal aid will accelerate bridge upgrades and repairs in Rhode Island,” he said. “It will help improve our communities and build new bridges to the future.”

Reed’s office said that in addition to this guaranteed federal bridge funding, Rhode Island and other states will have the opportunity to vie for a share of $12.5 billion in competitive federal grants from the Bridge Investment Program, as well as a chance to compete for a share of $15 billion for major projects.

Over the life of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Rhode Island is estimated to receive over $1.7 billion in highway funding, $277 million for mass-transit, $45 million for airports, and $23 million for new electric vehicle charging stations, as well as $100 million to expand high-speed internet coverage and help low-income residents get affordable, reliable Internet access.

A recent report by the national transportation research nonprofit TRIP found that Rhode Island had the second-worst rate of deficient bridges. According to the report, 12% of Rhode Island’s urban interstate bridges were in poor or structurally deficient condition, just behind West Virginia’s 13%.

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

Purchase NowWant to share this story? Click Here to purchase a link that allows anyone to read it on any device whether or not they are a subscriber.

No posts to display