Providence, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have approved RIDOT’s 10-year transportation plan — a first for Rhode Island and only the third long-range plan of its type adopted nationwide.
The 10-year plan is incorporated in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), a comprehensive list of transportation projects that Rhode Island will implement using federal funding.
The 10-year plan is the backbone of the RhodeWorks legislation. It provides the structure necessary to deliver more than $4 billion worth of road and bridge improvements and, when implemented, will save $950 million in bridge replacement and repair costs. The plan also will deliver 90 percent bridge sufficiency seven years earlier than possible prior to RhodeWorks.
“The final approval of RIDOT’s 10-year plan is a significant milestone on the journey to rebuild our roads and bridges,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “It creates a blueprint for how we’re going to address our structural bridge deficiencies, create jobs and economic opportunities, and keep our infrastructure in good condition and safe for all users.”
“The 10-year plan sets us on a new path, one where we are able to effectively plan, design and construct road and bridge projects across the state and, using our new project management structure, deliver them on time, on budget and at the highest quality,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “This is a far cry from how RIDOT did business in the past, with poor planning and execution that led to constant delays and postponement of needed work to keep our transportation system in a state of good repair.”
“This document represents a significant change from past practice, which will ultimately result in an improved planning process and better results for Rhode Island,” said R.I. Department of Administration Director Michael DiBiase, who also chairs the State Planning Council.
The 10-year transportation plan includes tolling revenue from a tractor-trailer only tolling initiative which was just approved by the FHWA. The plan can be viewed online at www.dot.ri.gov/news.
The 10-year plan’s asset management driven approach identifies needed repairs or new construction at a time in a road or bridge’s lifespan when work is far less expensive than full reconstruction or replacement. It includes scheduled funding for work to repair 175 structurally deficient bridges and to complete preservation activities that will keep another 500 bridges from becoming structurally deficient. This approach is how Rhode Island will reach the federal minimum standard of 90 percent structural sufficiency for bridges by 2025, saving approximately $950 million.
When combined with sweeping organizational changes at RIDOT, it will accelerate Rhode Island’s economic comeback and provide Rhode Islanders with a safe, efficient and well-maintained transportation system. The detailed, project-by-project plan includes $400 million in funding for the long-delayed 6/10 interchange project, which has been in design for over 30 years. It also includes additional funding beyond what is possible with current resources for transit projects ($80 million more), highway improvements ($30 million more) and bike and pedestrian upgrades ($37 million more), while providing $212 million for traffic safety improvements and $112 million for maintenance and repair of drainage structures.
RIDOT’s 10-year plan was proposed to the State Planning Council in October 2015. The Planning Council approved the STIP on September 8. The 10-year plan will be updated every year and replaces the previous planning process that produced a four-year plan that was not updated annually; instead it was updated on a four-year cycle. All transportation projects utilizing federal funds must be included in the STIP.