With the severe winter weather now subsiding, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has turned its attention to addressing the condition of state-maintained roads across Rhode Island. This winter, the second snowiest on record, accelerated the decline of many of the state's roadways. In response, RIDOT is taking aggressive action to restore badly damaged areas and ensure the safe and efficient movement of people and commerce throughout Rhode Island.
* Deploying All Forces: Fifty to 70 crew members are in the field daily, applying nearly 20 tons of patching material – the equivalent of more than one hundred pothole patches. These efforts will soon be complemented by the addition of on-call pothole patching services, allowing the department to accomplish repairs faster, safer, and with minimal impact to the traveling public.
* Taking a New Approach to Tackling Potholes: In a first for the state, RIDOT is now accepting bids for on-call pothole patching services that utilize the latest spray-injection technology to repair potholes more efficiently and safely while ensuring a longer-lasting fix. The truck-mounted, spray-injection patchers – which are controlled by a single operator from the cab of a truck – are capable of cleaning away debris and filling a pothole in only a few minutes; traffic can immediately be returned to the roadway once the pothole is repaired, minimizing the disruption to travel that is typical with more conventional pothole operations.
Currently RIDOT manually fills potholes using cold and hot patch with the assistance of hot boxes. These operations are time-intensive and require several crew members. The self-propelled, spray-injection patchers will more than double the department's output, making a more permanent repair versus the temporary fix possible using traditional methods. Bids for the on-call pothole patching services are due March 20, 2015. For more information, visit www.purchasing.ri.gov.
* Working Creatively with Municipalities to Address Badly Degraded Areas: RIDOT is compiling an inventory of roadways across the state in need of immediate attention, following this winter's extreme weather. The department has begun reaching out to the respective communities with the goal of working collaboratively on near-term repair projects.
"Rhode Islanders have endured a tough winter," Governor Gina Raimondo said. "As the grass begins to peak through the melted snow, our state roads are beginning to show the wear and tear of Rhode Island's severe winter weather. My administration is committed to tackling our poor road conditions with urgency in order to restore the damage caused these past few months."
"It is not enough to address potholes; we need a systemic approach to addressing the longstanding issues that have been hindering travel in this state for quite some time," RIDOT Director-Designee Peter Alviti Jr. said. "And we have to work together. The condition of our roadways is an important part of our state's economic health. These actions we are taking – and those to follow in the coming months – help us further the Governor's mission to keep Rhode Island moving and better position it for economic growth."
* Providing More Robust Online Traveler Resources: RIDOT recently launched a new webpage at www.dot.ri.gov/potholes that provides information on the state's approach to pothole repair as well as allows motorists to report a pothole or learn more about their right to file a vehicle damage claim.