The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the dedication of its new Portsmouth Maintenance Facility, a much-needed improvement for personnel and equipment tasked with taking care of state roads throughout most of Bristol and Newport counties.
The new 22,500-square foot building on Boyd's Lane is five times larger than its predecessor on nearby Anthony Road. The old building, just a short distance away on Anthony Road, was so small that RIDOT could not park its fleet of trucks indoors. This left them exposed to the harsh marine climate, which led them to corrode far more quickly than other trucks of the same age and with the same mileage in the rest of RIDOT's maintenance fleet.
"With the $4.7 billion taxpayers are investing in our roads and bridges through the RhodeWorks program, we need to ramp up our ability to properly maintain our transportation network," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. "That includes having the right trucks and equipment to do the job, and facilities to take store and take care of the assets that take care of our roads."
RIDOT included in the design of the $7.4 million facility a number of energy-saving features. This includes special insulated panels covering the entire structure. The old building had cramped quarters, failing roofing and siding, and lacked insulation in many areas. Instead of a lift to safely work under vehicles, the old garage had a pit in the floor. Lack of storage required items like chainsaws to be stored in office space. A picnic table served as the only conference table in the small lobby.
"It's light-years ahead of the old building and it's as environmentally friendly as a garage can be," Alviti added.
The facility includes adequate space for vehicles to be stored and repaired, a vehicle lift and trolley/crane system, a modern lubrication system and a vehicle fuel depot center next to the building. The building includes office space for the entire 20-member staff of RIDOT's Newport Maintenance District, as well as storage for a wide range of tools, equipment and parts.
The new Portsmouth Maintenance Facility was completed on time and approximately $500,000 under budget. It was made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.