Peter Alviti

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Ridership surged this summer on the Newport-Providence ferry on Narragansett Bay, with more than 43,000 travelers using the ferry, a jump of nearly 10,000 from the ferry’s inaugural season in 2016, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Peter Garino, the chief operating officer at the state Department of Transportation, is leaving state employment after less than two years with RIDOT.

Garino was hired as Peter Alviti's deputy in February 2015, one month after Governor Gina Raimondo took office.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island will be one of only three states in the country with a long-range plan for transportation, according to state officials who announced Thursday they have received federal approval for a 10-year plan to improve roads, bridges and public transit.

The plan will be revised with public input every year, a change from prior plans which covered just four years and were revisited only when it was time to craft a new plan. 

John Bender / RIPR

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is working to be more transparent, and shrug off a public perception that it’s mired in inefficiency. The agency released its quarterly report Monday.

Director Peter Alviti pointed to efforts including new signage at DOT projects, which signal if they’re running on time and on budget. If all’s well, the sign will be green. If not, it will be yellow or red, depending on the state of the project.

Happy mid-April, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation held the last in a series of workshops Wednesday on the future of the 6/10 Connector. State DOT director Peter Alviti recently stopped by our studio to talk about the future of the Connector and related issues. Alviti spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis and political analyst Scott MacKay.

(We should note that this conversation took place before a sometimes terse meeting on the 6/10 Connector earlier this week.)

RI DOT

In a boost for the vision of remaking the 6/10 Connector as a boulevard, state DOT Director Peter Alviti said Wednesday that a boulevard hybrid concept offers far more public benefits than traditional reconstruction of the Connector's seven deficient bridges.

Yet following a public meeting in Providence Wednesday evening, some civic observers were unimpressed, calling the concept more highway than boulevard.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) on Friday called for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to launch a House Oversight investigation into whether the state Department of Transportation pressured state reps to support the new truck toll law ahead of the House vote earlier this week.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The head of the state Department of Transportation says the lack of specific sites for truck tolls in Governor Raimondo’s infrastructure plan is not unusual. Critics say this information should be made public before the legislature considers the plan early next year.

The governor wants to use truck tolls at a total of 17 sites on five highways around the state to generate money to improve bridges. DOT director Peter Alviti said a series of studies are being used to pinpoint the most logical locations for the truck tolls.

The leaves are falling, and fight over truck tolls remains hot and heavy. So thanks for stopping by for my weekend roundup. As always, your tips and feedback are welcome via my email and you can follow me all week long on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation is negotiating a possible consent decree with the US Justice Department due to environmental damage caused by years of inadequately monitored runoff on highways around the state.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Standing under a decaying highway overpass in Olneyville, Governor Gina Raimondo on Wednesday unveiled a plan to improve Rhode Island's crumbling bridges by imposing a yet-to-be determined charge on large commercial trucks.

The plan calls for a $700 million bond issue, to be included as part of the budget for the next fiscal year, to jump-start transit-related construction work. To the delight of unionized workers in attendance, Raimondo characterized the initiative -- dubbed "Rhode Works" -- as a measure that will improve infrastructure while creating construction jobs.