The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that RIDOT put $174 million out for bid during the 2016 Federal Fiscal Year (FFY2016) – $60 million more than it did in the previous year and $74 million more than it did in FFY2014.
The details of the year-end accomplishments were published in RIDOT's latest quarterly report. The report covers the quarter ending September 30, 2016, the close of the federal fiscal year.
"We closed out the prior quarter and the Federal Fiscal Year with an impressive number of accomplishments, not least of which is getting construction underway on more projects than we originally projected," Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "We remain committed to being diligent stewards of the public investment taxpayers have entrusted in us to deliver the highest quality transportation system possible for Rhode Island."
By the close of FFY2016, RIDOT initiated procurement for $174 million worth of work under construction for 49 projects statewide, four more than expected. These included three projects valued at $13.5 million that were scheduled to be advertised in the next two years, but RIDOT was able to begin them sooner. The projects include resurfacing of I-95 from Elmwood Avenue to Eddy Street in Providence, a statewide pavement resurfacing project, and resurfacing of Smith Street in Providence. The fourth project is a new project, to make $900,000 in pavement improvements to Route 138 in South Kingstown.
Including these projects, in FFY2016 RIDOT advertised contracts in the following categories:
* Bridges: 32 bridges in 18 projects valued at $105.3 million
* Pavement: 8 projects valued at $30.3 million
* Traffic: 10 projects valued at $13.2 million
* Transportation Alternatives: 2 projects valued at $7.1 million
* Maintenance & Operations: 11 projects at $18.1 million
"This work not only represents much needed improvements to our transportation infrastructure made possible by our RhodeWorks program, but also represents jobs for construction industry and additional economic benefits derived from having smooth roads and well-maintained bridges," Alviti said.
The $174 million in construction contracts is 74 percent higher than just two years ago.
Aside from having access to this information online through the Quarterly Report, the public is able to monitor progress on new RIDOT projects through project accountability signs posted throughout the state. The signs – 155 installed so far – clearly indicate when new projects are expected to begin and when current projects are set to be finished and at what cost. The signs also include color coded markers – much like a traffic signal – indicating in green, yellow and red whether or not the project is on time and on budget. In the past quarter, nine previously installed signs were changed to reflect minor adjustments to budgets and schedules.
Among the milestones reached during the past quarter:
RIDOT executed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), making it clear that the federal government agrees with Rhode Island's program to implement bridge tolls on large commercial vehicles or "tractor trailers" and that it meets the toll eligibility requirement in federal law.
The FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have approved RIDOT's 10-year transportation plan – a first for Rhode Island and only the third long-range plan of its type adopted nationwide.
Signature of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that allowed RIDOT and its partners at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to go to market with an additional $300 million in Federal GARVEE bonds. Obtained at a 2.8 percent interest rate, the bonds will fund the surge in bridge construction planned under RhodeWorks.
Rapid Bridge Construction
Over the course of two long weekend closures in September, RIDOT replaced the East Shore Expressway and McCormick Quarry Bridges in East Providence – the first completed in 83 hours and the second in just 65 hours. These represent the culture of innovation and commitment to project delivery at RIDOT.
Providence River Pedestrian Bridge
RIDOT worked closely with our partners at the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission to accelerate the advertisement of the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge. Notice to Proceed was issued to the contractor in early September 2016.
Task Order Contracting
During the fourth quarter, some 49 task order contracts were awarded for design and engineering support. This is an industry best practice employed by departments of transportation around the country that gets future road and bridge projects ready for construction faster than before.
Providence Transit Hub
RIDOT received proposals from four real estate development firms in response to a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the construction of the Providence Intermodal Transit Center, a facility that will integrate bus and train service with parking and other economic development opportunities.
RIDOT closed a successful first season for the Providence-Newport ferry, with more than 33,000 passengers enjoying travel by ferry on Narragansett Bay. RIDOT is investigating ways to provide expanded ferry service in 2017.
Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Station
RIDOT was awarded a highly competitive TIGER grant for $13.1 million for the development of the Pawtucket/Central Falls Train Station.
Richmond Welcome Center
RIDOT reopened the rest area on I-95 North between Exits 2 and 3 in time for Labor Day weekend with portable restroom facilities, and later opened the rest area's indoor facilities by Columbus Day weekend.
RIDOT has engaged with two firms to complete a statewide drainage inventory and RIDOT in-house crews are making progress toward cleaning and inspecting catch basins.
RIDOT hosted the first Impaired Driving Summit at the Community College of Rhode Island's Knight Campus in Warwick in August, with more than 100 participants.
The Quarterly Report is an important component of earning the public's trust in the Department and being accountable to the taxpayers of the State of Rhode Island. Going beyond the statutory requirement of the RhodeWorks legislation which requires quarterly reporting, the document also includes updates on key accomplishments during the quarter, personnel and organizational structure of the department, construction contract awards, bridge condition information, safety information, maintenance operations, special projects and RIDOT's efforts toward resolving legacy issues. The document is available online on RIDOT's website at www.ridot.net/accountability.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007, 401-641-8934