During a ceremony this morning in Providence at the Washington Bridge, a historic bridge dating back to the 1930’s that is currently being replaced, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced the official start of the 2008 construction season.
“Today, we are pleased to hold our construction season opener,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Although I won’t be throwing out a first pitch, I will be pitching a message of safety.”
Lewis took the time to remind Rhode Island motorists to be cognizant of workers’ safety throughout the year. “Construction means progress – what we do affects all of you,” added Lewis. “As we do our part to make improvements, please do your part by paying attention to the signs, the cones, and the work zones. Be aware, slow down and take care.”
With a $200 million investment, RIDOT construction crews will be out in full force undertaking several infrastructure improvement projects throughout the state. They include: the Replacement of the Washington Bridge (#200) which carries I-195 Eastbound over the Seekonk River between Providence and East Providence; and Contract 9 for the Iway, which features the opening of the new Fox Point Pedestrian Bridge and the opening of a new ramp, which will carry I-195 Eastbound into India Point Park. The Washington Bridge is slated for completion by the end of the year, while Contract 9 of the Iway should wrap up in the Summer and Fall 2008.
The Main Road Bridge Replacement Project in Tiverton is also underway. This project is a precursor to the Sakonnet River Bridge Replacement Project and is targeted for completion in Summer 2008. The Relocation of Route 403 in North Kingstown and East Greenwich is continuing with several bridge projects. Portions of this project should wrap up in Summer and Fall 2008, and others in Summer 2009.
Additional projects are: the Warwick Intermodal Station Site Remediation System Relocation and Operations and Monitoring System, which is helping to treat the groundwater on the Warwick Intermodal site, and to make room for the new Intermodal Garage; and the Block Island Sidewalks and Bridge Gate Square Intersection Improvements, which will target sidewalk and intersection improvements in the area of Corn Neck Road, Old Town Road, Dodge Street and Ocean Avenue. The Warwick project should be underway for four construction seasons, while the Block Island work is slated for a Fall 2008 completion.
RIDOT will also install cable guardrail on Route 146, from the split with Route 146A in North Smithfield to the Massachusetts state line; and replace the pavement striping on state roadways in Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, Glocester, Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Smithfield, and Woonsocket. These two projects are slated for completion by the end of the year.