The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is planning a two-part improvement for the Providence Train Station. It's a stop that has over one million Amtrak and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail passengers use it annually.
"The Providence Train Station is a major transportation gateway to downtown Providence," said Governor Lincoln Chafee. "Because of its significance in terms of rail ridership it is important that this facility reflect the stature of our capital city."
To date RIDOT has identified $1 million for the first part of the project, anticipated to cost between $5 and $6 million.
"The first phase will include short-term infrastructure repair and aesthetic improvements," said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "We'll focus on reconstructing the plaza on the downtown side of the train station to help improve bus and pedestrian connections from downtown Providence and Kennedy Plaza. And we'll improve the access and visibility on the Francis Street side of the station."
RIDOT is also proposing to repair the concrete and limestone damaged areas, improve pedestrian and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access, and enhance vehicular circulation. The project also includes a bus drop off area on Gaspee Street as well as additional bike racks to accommodate the growing bicycle usage. RIDOT is also looking at adding improved signage.
The preliminary engineering and environmental review for phase two of the project is being funded with $3 million from the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) High Speed Rail Program. The FRA funds will help RIDOT analyze long-term high speed rail improvements, including modifications to the Providence Station Tunnel that will provide better movement between freight and passenger trains as well as improved pedestrian access.
RIDOT will also be evaluating new access points to the Station as well as additional parking facilities. Construction for these long-term projects is dependent upon future Federal high speed rail funding.
Project stakeholders include Amtrak, the City of Providence, the Providence Foundation, the Capital Center Commission, Capital Properties, Metro Park, Providence Place Mall and other adjacent businesses.
It is anticipated that construction for the first phase of the project could be underway in Spring 2013.
Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450