The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today at a public forum hosted by the City of Providence released two options for consideration for the reconstruction of the 6/10 interchange. Both depart from the original highway reconstruction designs that, in the past, would only have rebuilt the highways and their bridge elements as they exist today. Instead, RIDOT is embarking on a process to reimagine the Route 6/10 interchange.
RIDOT's approach is centered on community engagement, and considers the traffic levels, design constraints and public comment to date to create these new options. One option includes rebuilding the interchange using traditional highway methods. Another includes using elements of a boulevard approach. RIDOT is evaluating the cost and benefits of both designs.
Both options include provisions for the incorporation of a bus rapid transit (BRT) feature to increase transit choices locally in the corridor and for commuters heading into and out of Providence. Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the country, yet its transit utilization ranks well below the national average.
The Department is committed to meet an April 14, 2016 deadline for submission to the federal government's recently announced FASTLANE grant program. The program, announced on February 26, has $800 million available for a nationwide competition.
"We've developed designs that meet the needs of fixing bridges, preserving traffic flow and enhancing both transit and pedestrian/bike connectivity," said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti. "We will be sharpening our pencils to advance the project with the highest benefits and most cost effective solution for taxpayers. We thank the City of Providence for hosting this important public discussion."
"Route 6 and Route 10 cross through many communities in Rhode Island but no place is impacted more than the neighborhoods of the City of Providence," said Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. "This opportunity allows us to redesign the current space to build the best version of this project that creates long term value to the city and to the state."
The RhodeWorks program that was enacted last month included $400 million in funds for the 6/10 interchange. Seven of the nine bridge structures in the interchange are classified as structurally deficient. The project has been under design for more than 30 years and is long overdue.