On the cusp of the one year anniversary of the stimulus bill, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has been recognized in an American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) stimulus report entitled, “Projects and Paychecks: A One-Year Report on State Transportation Successes under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
“Projects and Paychecks” has a simple message: Investment in transportation equals good construction jobs now and lasting infrastructure for the future. RIDOT has 62 projects in its stimulus program – up from the initial 54 because of competitive bidding that allowed the Department to stretch its dollars further.
“The stimulus program added $137 million to our transportation program,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Currently 57 projects have been authorized, 44 projects are under construction, and 81 percent of all of the project contracts were awarded to Rhode Island companies.”
One of RIDOT’s projects highlighted in the report is the Dillons Corner Bridge project in Narragansett. Dillons Corner is a $6.6 million stimulus project replacing two structurally deficient bridges (Dillons Corner Bridge and Point Judith Road Bridge). Repairs to the Peace Dale Stone Arch Bridge in South Kingstown are also a part of this project.
This stimulus funded project will improve two vital bridge structures that lie in the main pathway to some of Rhode Island’s most popular beaches. The old shored up structures will become relics of the past, improving safety and rideability for the hundreds of thousands of beachgoers who visit this area between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
This American Recovery and Reinvestment Act transportation project has created approximately 25 jobs.
“‘Projects and Paychecks’ proves just how big a role stimulus is playing to keep Americans working,” said John Horsley, AASHTO executive director. “In January, state DOTs identified more than 9,800 additional ‘ready-to-go’ projects worth $79 billion. This study proves transportation projects can deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs for America,” Horsley said.
Rhode Island, along with Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, were selected as success stories and the regional representatives for this report. Other Rhode Island projects included in the report are the resurfacing of eight miles of I-95 between exits 1 - 3 for $7.7 million, and the reconstruction of Hartford Avenue in Johnston for $3.4 million.
The entire report focuses on the $48 billion national investment in transportation improvement projects and highlights the job creation results through profiles of 150 individual projects and newly released state and federal government statistics. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on February 17, 2009.
Nationwide, as of January 7, 2010, 1,125 bridges had been improved or replaced, 21,400 miles of pavement had been resurfaced or widened, and 1,700 safety traffic management projects had been put into place.
The entire report can be found online at: http://recovery.transportation.org/.
Contact Dana Alexander Nolfe at (401) 222-1362 x. 4450.