A major highway construction project begins today in Providence. The Atwells Avenue bridge will be closed for the next year.
The $2.5 million project will replace portions of the bridge damaged by flooding in 2010. The bridge carries Atwells Avenue over the Woonsaquatucket River in Providence. During construction east and westbound traffic will be detoured around the bridge, and nearby bus stops will be relocated. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says it will cut construction time by half by closing the bridge completely.
State Police say they’ll be beefing up patrols during the upcoming New Year’s holiday. State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell is urging motorists not to drink and drive.
State Police say they’ll use state Department of Transportation money to add extra patrols around the New Year’s holiday. Troopers will be raising enforcement for speeding, driving while impaired, aggressive driving, and texting while driving, among other offenses.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and Rep. Jim Langevin and Rep. David Cicilline joined Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael Lewis to tour Narragansett’s Great Island Bridge, which RIDOT has rated “functionally obsolete” and in immediate need of replacement.
This morning Gov. Lincoln Chafee and a few members of the Rhode Island delegation toured a bridge project in Narragansett. The tour showcased important infrastructure repairs the state may have to delay.
The Great Island Bridge is the only connection between the Port of Galilee in Narragansett and Great Island. It’s also an important part of the community’s emergency evacuation route.
The Federal Highway Trust Fund is struggling to stay afloat in the face of dwindling funds and partisan gridlock in Washington. That means the federal government will delay reimbursing Rhode Island and other states for transportation projects starting August 1st.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said states will face a 28 percent drop in federal funding for road repairs, maintenance, and infrastructure developments. Foxx met with the Rhode Island congressional delegation to discuss the challenge, and didn't mince words when he spoke at the Statehouse.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says it’s running low on road salt for the highways. The news comes as another winter storm is expected to hit the state.
The department says it only has enough road salt for one more storm. That’s because this winter has not only been harsher than others, but because it has swept across a broader swath of the country. Most states in the northeast get their salt from the same sources, and with wicked weather blanketing the region, the regular suppliers are getting tapped out.
Rhode Island is waking up under a blanket of snow, the second storm of the year. Forecasters said the storm dumped nearly a foot of snow on some parts of the state.
National Weather Service meteorologist Alan Dunham said some places got hit with almost a foot. “Heaviest snowfall so far has been over Providence County, said Dunham. “Leader of the pack right now is North Smithfield with eleven inches.”