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RIDOT Breaks Ground on Route 146 Project to Kick Off 2022 Construction Season

NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI — Governor Dan McKee, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, and other state and local leaders gathered on the side of Route 146 in North Smithfield recently to break ground for the Route 146 Reconstruction Project, kicking off the 2022 construction season.

The expansive $196-million project will make improvements to the Route 146 corridor, making it safer and reducing congestion, which will reduce vehicle emissions. In 2020, Rhode Island's Congressional Delegation secured a $65-million federal INFRA grant — the largest the state ever received — to allow the department to properly address all the concerns with Route 146 with a single project.

The project will replace or repair five bridges, repave eight miles of roadway, and build a flyover bridge to carry Route 146 over Sayles Hill Road — eliminating the traffic signal at Sayles Hill Road, the only traffic light on all of Route 146. This intersection averages more than 85 crashes per year and is a source of significant congestion and travel delay.

The Route 146 Project is one of 60 projects RIDOT will work on this year, valued at $1.8 billion. Fueled by an infusion of funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, RIDOT has accelerated about 100 projects in its 10-year plan. These projects include bridge rehabilitation, resurfacing, traffic safety projects, stormwater, and bike/ped improvements.

RIDOT will focus on paving for the next five years. It has committed $92 million to paving projects this year and $422 million over the next five years. One of the first tasks of the Route 146 project will be paving badly deteriorated sections of the highway this summer.

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"Thanks to the Biden Administration and our Congressional Delegation we are kicking off construction season with an infusion of federal funds that will go towards fixing our roads and bridges and creating good paying union jobs," McKee said. "As construction kicks off across our state, I ask motorists to be on the lookout for construction zones and to drive carefully when around them."

"In addition to large projects like this new one on Route 146 and the ongoing Route 6/10, Providence Viaduct, Washington Bridge, and Henderson Bridge projects, we will begin a series of projects to address our deteriorated roadways," Alviti said. "We'll take the same aggressive approach we utilized in the RhodeWorks program to fix our structurally deficient bridges and bring our long-neglected roadways into a state of good repair."

Now in its seventh year, RIDOT's RhodeWorks program has overseen 237 projects that include work on 359 bridges. In total RIDOT has completed 196 projects, valued at $3.1 billion. In addition to the Route 146 Project, other major projects under construction in 2022 include:

  • The $410-million Route 6/10 Interchange Project
  • The $265-million I-95 Viaduct Northbound
  • The $164.5-million Route 37 Bridges Projects
  • The $84.9-million Pell Bridge Ramps Projects
  • The $84.4-million Henderson Bridge Project
  • The $78-million Washington Bridge Project

Other highlights of the Route 146 project include:

  • Replacing one bridge along the corridor and implementing preservation or rehabilitation work on four others
  • Building frontage roads for easy and safe access to businesses at the Sayles Hill Road interchange
  • Repaving Route 146 from the I-295 interchange to the Massachusetts state line
  • Adding bus-on-shoulder accommodations along the southern end of Route 146 in North Providence and Providence
  • Extending existing fiber optic lines and intelligent transportation systems/traffic monitoring from the I-295 interchange to the Massachusetts state line
  • Rebuilding the Route 146/Route 146A interchange, removing dangerous U-turns using a diverging diamond interchange
  • Extending the weave length for the Route 99 Ramp and Route 146 south
  • Improving the geometry of the I-295 southbound off-ramp to Route 146
  • Building new drainage systems
  • Replacing guardrail and making other safety improvements such as wrong way driving detection systems

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