The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration have approved the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) 10-year transportation plan. This is the first time these agencies have approved such a plan for the state and the third time for any state in the country.
The plan, which RIDOT says is “the backbone” of its RhodeWorks program, is incorporated into its State Transportation Improvement Plan. The agency reports the plan “provides the structure” to help it carry out $4 billion in road and bridge improvements.
It is designed to bring 90 percent of Rhode Island’s bridges to “sufficiency” seven years sooner than previously planned, saving the agency $950 million in the process.
“The 10-year plan sets us on a new path, one where we are able to effectively plan, design and construct road and bridge projects across the state and, using our new project management structure, deliver them on time, on budget and at the highest quality,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. says. “This is a far cry from how RIDOT did business in the past, with poor planning and execution that led to constant delays and postponement of needed work to keep our transportation system in a state of good repair.”
RIDOT included in the plan scheduled funding for repair work on 175 structurally deficient bridges and preservation work on 500 bridges. Also included is $400 million in funding for the Routes 6/10 interchange project, $80 million in additional funding for transit projects, $30 million in additional funding for highway improvements, $37 million in additional funding for bike and pedestrian upgrades, $212 million for traffic safety improvements and $112 million for maintenance and repair of drainage structures.