PROVIDENCE, RI – Building on the remarks he made last night in his 2022 State of the State Address, Governor Dan McKee, joined by Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, today announced a plan to accelerate over 100 infrastructure projects valued at $2.1 billion as a result of funding from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This critical investment focuses on key infrastructure priorities including rehabilitating bridges in critical need of repair, reducing carbon emissions, increasing system resilience, removing barriers to connecting communities, and improving mobility and access to economic opportunity.
"Thanks to the hard work of our Congressional delegation that made sure Rhode Island got our fair share in Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, we are able to speed up 100 road and bridge projects across Rhode Island – putting tradesmen and women to work creating safer roads, safer bridges, and more bike paths," said Governor McKee. "Rhode Island is ready to put these dollars to work and the good news is – we have a plan to do it quickly."
"Over the past few years, Rhode Island has consistently ranked near the top for having some of the country's worst road and bridge infrastructure," said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. "Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of this infrastructure caters to an overdependency on car usage that not only harms our environment but also, that not everyone can afford. These significant investments not only promote green infrastructure, but also begin to address local inequities regarding environmental justice. We are proud to put Rhode Islanders to work and even prouder to rebrand Rhode Island as the region's leader in green, modern infrastructure that puts people first."
The guiding principles employed for the first time by RIDOT will accelerate projects that are greener, cleaner, safer and more equitable than more traditional planning has provided to Rhode Islanders. The project list announced today includes 22 projects with bike path infrastructure improvements, 63 projects that include pedestrian walkway features, 87 projects that will enhance stormwater quality, and 86 projects that make roads and walkways safer.
"With these new funds, we are renewing and strengthening our commitment to improve not only the condition of our infrastructure, but also the resiliency," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. "And we will enhance our commitment to alternate modes of transportation and carbon reduction initiatives. We are going to be more mindful of our effect on the environment and do our best to reduce emissions wherever and whenever we can."
Through the Infrastructure Act, RIDOT will receive an additional $576 million of federal funds over a five-year period to invest in the state of good repair for Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure. RIDOT has determined that the additional funding makes it possible to accelerate its Ten-Year Plan and begin construction of over 100 projects valued at $2.1 billion, an average of four years sooner. Matching state funding will be combined with the federal funds to accelerate these improvements to Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure while also creating new jobs for Rhode Islanders.