Design-build approach to be employed with construction underway by end of 2017.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it is now accepting proposals from construction companies to design and build Rhode Island's newest commuter rail station, strategically located close to the Pawtucket-Central Falls line.
The new Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station would serve a built-in ridership that lacks robust transit choices, with many area residents having to drive to nearby commuter rail stations in Attleboro and South Attleboro, Massachusetts. The new station will be located near the intersections of Pine Street and Goff Avenue in Pawtucket, an area envisioned as a prime center for increased transit-oriented economic development.
"We look forward to putting shovels in the ground and Rhode Islanders to work by the end of this year building the Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station," Governor Gina Raimondo said. "The creation of this new, regional transit hub will strengthen public transit in Rhode Island and support economic growth in these two cities."
"I'm excited to take this important next step to begin the development of the train station," said Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien. "As RIDOT seeks bids, Pawtucket and Central Falls continue to work together to position the train station district to be a transportation and business hub."
"'Central Falls would like to thank Governor Raimondo and Director Alviti for their leadership, prioritization and prompt action in making sure the process continues moving quickly and effectively in order to bring a train station to Pawtucket/Central Falls," Central Falls Mayor James Diossa said.
"This station is perfectly located to meet the needs of the residents of these two cities, and certainly will aid in these communities' efforts to revitalize this area and create many economic development opportunities and jobs through transit-oriented development that comes along with well-positioned transit centers," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said.
RIDOT expects to award a design-build contract in early summer. This approach will shorten the overall timeframe to design and build the station, breaking ground in late 2017 and opening in late 2019.
The station will afford direct connection via Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) trains to Providence, T.F. Green and Wickford Junction stations in Rhode Island, as well as numerous stops on route to South Station in Boston. Ridership studies show this station will attract a high level of users, with an estimated 519 daily boardings.
The commuter rail station would include dedicated platforms for northbound and southbound service, connected by a pedestrian bridge overpass, ramps and stairs. To further increase transit connectivity, a future Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus hub will be built separately through a $7 million Federal Transit Administration grant.
The $40 million project is funded largely through the efforts of Rhode Island's Congressional Delegation to secure $13.1 million through the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The TIGER grant program is designed to spur tough-to-finance projects that have a significant impact on a region or metropolitan area. This highly competitive grant program received 585 applications valued at $9.3 billion, with only $500 million available in grants.
The communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls are also providing funding to the project, jointly contributing $3 million.