RIDOT Has Busy Year Lined Up

By Paul Fournier | September 28, 2010

The future of more than $480 million worth of transportation construction and construction-related programs in Rhode Island was assured on Election Day, November 7, when Ocean State voters overwhelmingly approved (75 percent) Referendum 5, the Transportation Bond Question.

In October, James Capaldi, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, had urged to voters to pass Referendum 5. Without the approval of the $88.5-million referendum, he said, RIDOT would not be able to match $394 million in federal funds for improvements to the state's highways, roads and bridges over the next two years. He also pointed out that the state's federal dollars would be given away to other states if Rhode Island can't match them.

Apparently, voters were convinced, and approved the measure. The vote allows RIDOT to continue work on the $500-million relocation of the intersection of I-195 and I-95 in downtown Providence, and other major projects as well, including road jobs in Middletown, Portsmouth, North Providence, Providence, Airport Road in Warwick, and the Arctic Circulator in West Warwick. Also given the green light are bridge construction projects including Stillwater Bridge in Smithfield, the Conant Street Bridge in Pawtucket and the Henderson Bridge in Providence.

Other construction programs that might have been postponed for lack of funding are improvements to the statewide bike path program, the statewide road-striping program and overall safety upgrades. Mass transit construction financing is also assured. For example, included in the referendum bond is $7 million for extending commuter rail to South County by building the Wickford Junction Train Station.

As an indication of how much work RIDOT has lined up, the agency will advertise 43 projects worth $242 million in the first five months of 2007 alone. Among them is the replacement of the Sakonnet River Bridge between Portsmouth and Tiverton, estimated to cost $125 million. RIDOT is allowing contractors to bid the job with either a steel or concrete option. This comes on the heels of the advertising of 14 projects worth $34 million in the period November 27 through December 31, 2006.

And work will be continuing on the relocation of the mainline of I-195, with the advertising of Contract 11 estimated to cost $32.6 million, and Contract 10, worth $12.2 million.

In other activity related to mainline I-195 construction, a 400-foot section of the new Providence River Bridge, a first-of-a-kind skewed network arch bridge, was set in place just south of the city's Hurricane Barrier on August 28 after being towed on a barge up Narragansett Bay from Quonset Point, R.I. The 3,000-ton bridge section is the center span of the 1,250-foot Providence River Bridge being built by Cardi Corporation under an $85-million contract with RIDOT. It was fabricated in Plainville, Conn., by National Eastern Corp., and delivered in pieces by trucks to Quonset Point where Northeast Steel Co. assembled the bridge. Using multi-axle transporters, the Mammoet Company moved the assembled bridge onto a barge, towed it for three hours to the job site and lowered the structure in place during low tide.

Rhode Island Department of Transportation Tentative Advertising Through May
Quarter 1/1/2007 – 3/31/2007
Project I.D. Project Location Estimate
0134A Hartford Ave. drainage Johnson 1,500,000
0026I Coventry Greenway bikebath Coventry 1,400,000
0008E Rt. 146/Tr. 116 landscaping Lincoln 493,000
0087P I-295 safety/lighting Cranston, Johnston, Warwick, W. War. 4,000,000
0141D Improvements to Warwick Neck Ave. Warwick 1,700,000
0021M Blackstone River bike facility Woonsocket 500,000
9006D Warwick intermodel station Warwick 289,000
0031L Sakonnet River Bridge demo Tiverton 600,000
9204B Chatter strip removal Statewide 350,000
9007B On-call svc. traffic monitoring Statewide 100,000
0145B Conant St. railroad bridge 4,000,000
0106B Ten Mile River E. Prov., Pawtucket 1,000,000
0037A Sidewalks/intersection Block Island 2,200,000
0098B Airport road Warwick 3,000,000
0071M High hazard intersections E. Greenwich 2,000,000
0071X High hazard intersections Barrington, E. Prov. 2,100,000
0115N 2007 pavement striping Statewide 1,100,000
0115P 2007 pavement striping Statewide 1,600,000
9003D Woonsocket Depot enhancement Woonsocket 675,000
0085A 2007 crack sealing Statewide 500,000
0085B 2007 surface sealing Statewide 1,000,000
7005B Breakaway couplings Statewide 400,000
0138A Hartford Ave. reconstruction Johnston, Prov. 3,500,000
0132D Salt storage facility E. Providence 2,000,000
0094F Northwest bike landscaping Johnston, Prov. 406,000
9006C Wickford Junction Train Sta. 12,000,000
0130G Elmwood Ave. 1R & traffic signals Providence 5,000,000
0131G West Main Road 1R Middletown 3,800,000
0010T I-195 relocation Providence 32,600,000
0071N High hazard intersections Cranston 1,000,000
0165P 1R improvements to Atwells Ave. Providence 1,030,000
0008F Route 146 guardrail No. Smithfield 1,500,000
0085C Old Plainfield Pike Foster 600,000
0061H Route 44 improvements Glocester 600,000
Quarter 4/1/2007 – 5/26/2007
0147A Improve ramp access Charlestown 1,900,000
0132C Salt storage facility No. Kingstown 1,500,000
0031E & K Replacement of Sakonnet River Bridge (Concrete or steel option) Portsmouth, Tiverton 125,000,000
0049H Jamestown-Verrazzono Bridge improve. 2,500,000
0132E Salt storage facility Smithfield 3,400,000
0010R I-195 relocation Providence 12,120,000
0078M ADA Providence Streets Providence 600,000
0019B East Bay bike path resurf./striping Warren 250,000
Total $241,813,000