The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) joined with Bristol Town officials, State representatives and senators, and business leaders today in front of the Bristol Visitor Center to celebrate the completion of work on Hope Street (Route 114) as part of the Hope Street Improvement Project in Bristol.
Through a $3 million contract with LAL Construction, the Department replaced curbing and sidewalks, repaired drainage lines and catch basins, removed and replanted street trees, installed decorative lighting, and resurfaced the roadway along a 0.6-mile segment of Hope Street from Constitution Street to Thames Street.
Today also marked the restoration of two-way traffic on Hope Street. RIDOT worked closely with the Town throughout the entire project to rearrange the downtown traffic pattern for the final phase of the project, making Hope Street and Thames Street each one-way. This shift saved nearly nine months of work.
"While it can be difficult rebuilding sidewalks and paving streets in Bristol's busy downtown, we have had an excellent working relationship with the Town throughout the project," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "The cooperation we received from residents and business owners helped us complete this project as quickly as possible."
RIDOT also worked closely with the Town during the design phase of the project, including the development of a street tree plan for the road. The Bristol Tree Commission, the Town of Bristol, the Downtown Business Merchants Association and an ad-hoc committee of citizens were directly involved as the project took shape and construction began last year.
"The Town is extremely pleased with this project and how RIDOT completed it with minimum disruption to the community," Town Council Chairman Kenneth A. Marshall said. "The level of coordination between the State, the Town of Bristol and the community was a key factor is making this a successful project."
Consideration also was given to one of the Town's premiere attractions, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade. To avoid conflicts, all work was suspended for a two-week period leading up to Independence Day and through the holiday.
"No construction of major travelled roads in a small town is an easy project, but the professionalism and more importantly openness in making this complicated project go as smoothly as possible should be an example of how towns, merchants and the DOT can work gracefully, amicably and professionally together in the future," said Alayne White, co-chair of the Downtown Bristol Merchants Association.
Resurfacing on Thames Street needs to be done before it can return to two-way traffic. That work is expected to be finished by the end of the month.
Those with questions about the remaining work can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT's social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: Charles St. Martin (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4007