In an effort to improve Rhode Island's transit system, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative James Langevin today announced that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will receive $760,000 in federal funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
A $400,000 Transportation, Community, and System Preservation grant will be used to help foster increased transportation use and private investment at the Warwick Station Development District (WSDD) at the crossroads of the InterLink T.F. Green Airport, and Interstate 95.
An additional $360,000 Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment grant will be used to construct a new single span bridge in Exeter.
"I am pleased Rhode Island is receiving this funding to help develop and market our infrastructure assets," said Reed, who is a member of the Appropriations Committee. "This funding will help Rhode Island build on federal investments in intermodal transportation and improve existing infrastructure."
"Smart investments in infrastructure boost business, create jobs, and connect communities," said Whitehouse. "These funds will enable RIDOT to enhance economic development in Warwick, and take advantage of innovative technology to speed construction of a new bridge in Exeter."
"We must invest in our aging infrastructure if we are serious about reviving our economy," said Langevin. "Maintaining and upgrading our roads, bridges, and railways is necessary to grow the economy, create jobs for construction workers, and avoid costlier repairs in the long term. These projects in Warwick and South County exemplify the work required to make our transportation system safer and more efficient."
In January, the delegation wrote a letter to FHWA in support of the Transportation, Community, and System Preservation grant stating that "Rhode Island will be able to attract complementary public and private investment, increase consumer usage of transit amenities, and make the state more economically competitive in a compact Northeast market."
The $400,000 grant for WSDD will help RIDOT develop a comprehensive marketing and outreach plan to attract businesses and other stakeholders to WSDD through branding, market research analysis, as well as targeted promotion and outreach. This funding will help state and local officials maximize the development of WSDD, which forms the intermodal gateway to T.F. Green Airport, including the InterLink that connects commuter trains, a parking garage, and rental car services to T.F. Green Airport.
The $360,000 grant will be used construct a single span buried arch bridge on Arcadia road over Roaring Brook in Exeter. RIDOT will use an innovative inflatable composite-concrete arch bridge technology that could reduce construction time and costs, double the bridge's lifespan, and reduce maintenance costs.