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DOT Ranks Road Projects as Communities Compete

Coventry's $340K proposal to construct sidewalks along the west side of Reservoir Road is currently tied with Tiverton at #13.

The Town of Coventry hopes to have sidewalks constructed along the west side of Reservoir Road. Credit: Lauren Costa
The Town of Coventry hopes to have sidewalks constructed along the west side of Reservoir Road. Credit: Lauren Costa
Millions of road improvement dollars are up for grabs as the state Department of Transportation releases its ranking of projects competing communities have proposed. 

Projects in Newport, East Providence and Warwick have attracted the most state interest among 23 requests from 14 cities and towns around the state. The DOT has placed its highest priority on improvements to Newport's Broadway, a $1 million streetscape project. Four road and sidewalk improvement projects in East Providence, totaling $1.2 million, rounds out the top 5. Warwick's plan to replace the Mill Creek Bridge is next at $1.6 million.

Projects from Coventry to Tiverton; Narragansett to Middletown are competing for $7 million in state funds as part of the 2014 Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Loan Fund, created by the General Assembly earlier this year. A panel of DOT, Economic Development and Statewide Planning staff members ranked the 23 project proposals, assigning points according to:
  • The extent to which the project generates economic benefits
  • The extent to which the project would be able to proceed at an earlier date.
  • The likelihood the project will provide mobility benefits.
  • The cost effectiveness of the project.
  • The likelihood that the project will increase safety.
  • The readiness of the project to proceed during the next calendar year. 
Newport's Broadway project scored a 60 at one end of the spectrum, while the island city's Thames and Spring street improvement plan scored a 10 at the other. East Greenwich's "Asphalt Program" scored an 18.3, followed by Barrington's road improvement plan at 20.8. At the top, East Providence's road and sidewalk improvement plans followed Newport with an average score of about 50.

Economic Development will host a public hearing on Friday, Dec. 13, at 9 a.m. at 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, to hear the public's input on the plan. Written testimony also will be accepted until noon on Friday, Dec. 20. It can be emailed to meredith.brady@dot.ri.gov or mailed to Meredith E. Brady, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, 2 Capitol Hill, Room 247A Providence, RI 02903. 

See the full list of projects in order of priority here.

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