Charles St. Martin
First workshop is Thursday, April 7
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced a series of public workshops for the reconstruction of the 6-10 interchange as part of a process to reimagine this important transportation infrastructure.
The Route 6-10 Interchange Project has road and bridge elements that have been in design for approximately 30 years. Within the project limits there are seven structurally deficient bridges that need to be addressed immediately. The project, which is of regional significance, consists of addressing structurally deficient bridges and reconfiguring the interchange to accommodate local and regional travel for commuters and businesses.
The Department is committed to meet an April 14 deadline for submission to the Federal Highway Administration's recently announced FASTLANE grant program. The program, announced on February 26, makes $800 million available for projects of national or regional significance. RIDOT is applying for a $150 million grant for this project.
"With less than two months from the time we heard about this new federal grant until the time our application is due, we have been working aggressively to successfully compete for these dollars," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. "At the same time, we have been meeting with the public and local, state and federal officials on design options. We look forward to continuing the public outreach process and developing a design that takes into consideration the needs of all transportation users for the Route 6-10 project and others who are affected by the interchange."
Meeting locations and times are listed below:
Thursday, April 7, 2016: 6-7:30 p.m. at the Johnston Senior Center, 1291 Hartford Ave., Johnston, RI
Monday, April 11, 2016: 6-7:30 p.m. at the Community College of RI, 400 East Ave., Warwick, RI
Tuesday, April 12, 2016: 6:30-8 p.m. at the Webster Avenue School, 191 Webster Ave., Providence, RI
Wednesday, April 13, 2016: 6-7:30 p.m. at the Cranston Senior Center, 1070 Cranston St., Cranston, RI
RIDOT's approach is centered on community engagement, and considers the traffic levels, design constraints and public comment to create a new vision for the replacement of this interchange. During the course of seeking funding from the Rhode Island General Assembly to fix the structurally deficient bridges, RIDOT has heard from different stakeholders and has expanded the design proposal to include a transit feature and a boulevard concept that would add open space, pedestrian connections, and a bike path, linking two segments of the state's bike network together and reconnecting two neighborhoods.
With Rhode Island being the second most densely populated state in the country, and its transit utilization ranking well below the national average, the options will provide for the incorporation of a bus rapid transit (BRT) feature to increase transit choices locally in the corridor and for commuters heading into and out of Providence.
The RhodeWorks program that was enacted in February provides $400 million in funds as the local share for the 6-10 interchange. The administration, in cooperation with the House and Senate, has made a commitment to fix the interchange now and solve an urgent safety problem and rather than leave it for future generations to correct.