Providence – Governor Gina M. Raimondo joined today with Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and
Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti to announce
a new road design for the 6/10 Interchange that keeps motorists safe, preserves
project budget and timeline, improves regional traffic flow, and helps to reconnect
surrounding neighborhoods, creates miles of new bike paths, and makes acres of new
land available for development.
«As Governor, I come to work every day focused on providing economic opportunity
for all Rhode Islanders, and forward-thinking, 21st century transit infrastructure
is core to our economic comeback,» Governor Raimondo said. «I commend my team at
RIDOT, Mayor Elorza and the many stakeholders whose input has helped to produce
a 6/10 Interchange design to serve the needs of all Rhode Islanders.»
In September, Governor Raimondo ordered a fast-tracked reconstruction of the 6/10
interchange to address decades of deferred maintenance on Rhode Island’s most traveled
expressway. RIDOT then collaborated with the City of Providence to produce an improved
road design that keeps motorists safe and preserves the project’s budget while
providing many design elements requested by neighborhood groups and public transit advocates.
«This process relied on close coordination and intensive collaboration between the
City, State and community stakeholders,» said Mayor Elorza. «This design meets many
of the goals laid out during several community meetings and the final product was
certainly enhanced because of it. Not only does it improve mobility throughout the
entire stretch, but also better connects neighborhoods, builds a dedicated bike
lane, opens up developable land, and incorporates better urban design.»
The new, $400 million improvement plan is expected to create approximately 1,700
direct job years, according to a formula used by the Council of Economic Advisors.
Highlights of the 6/10 Interchange plan:
* Direct Connection from Route 10 North onto Route 6 West: Road design includes
the «missing move» connecting Route 10 North to Route 6 West – improving regional
traffic flow and reducing traffic congestion in Olneyville.
* New pedestrian/bicycle routes: 1.4 miles of new bike paths will be constructed
in two places over Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor to connect pedestrians and bike
riders traveling between Olneyville and the West End. Bike lanes will be added
on an expanded Westminster Street overpass and on a newly rebuilt Tobey Street
overpass. Broadway and Westminster Street will be redesigned using «complete streets» standards
to make neighborhood roadways walkable, transit and bicycle-friendly.
* Connects neighborhoods: To diminish the visual obstruction between Olneyville
and the West End neighborhoods of Providence, approximately half the length of the
Huntington Viaduct will be demolished. RIDOT will replace the Huntington Viaduct
with surface roads that maintain adequate traffic conditions.
* More greenspace and developable land: The Plainfield Street on-ramp will be
Eliminated to better connect city streets and open up more than four acres of additional real
estate for development.
* Eliminates Harris Avenue Crossing: New plan eliminates the challenging cross-over
merge at the Harris Avenue on-ramp, letting Harris Avenue traffic access Route 10
South without merging through Route 6 West traffic. Access from Harris Avenue to
Route 6 West will also be maintained.
* Gateway aesthetics: Additional measures will be taken for landscaping, visual
improvements and reduction of noise and neighborhood buffering. The new plan also
includes a lighting arrangement similar to that used on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
These improved aesthetics will create a signature entranceway to Providence from
Route 6 and 10.
«Finally, after 30 years, we are going to rebuild the 6/10 interchange within the
budget the legislature gave us. We will create a new infrastructure to improve
the flow of traffic, give drivers the missing move to 6 west, and modify the geometry
of the roads to make driving easier and eliminate the challenges people now face,»
RIDOT Director Alviti said. «We are pleased to have worked in collaboration with
the City and look forward to breaking ground.»
RIDOT anticipates the project will cost $400 million including design, construction,
oversight, and contingencies. RhodeWorks legislation provided $400 million to address
the 6/10 interchange. RIDOT has agreed to seek additional federal discretionary
funding for additional improvements in the 6/10 corridor requested by the City of
Providence, including the reconfiguration of the Dean Street on ramp.
With this new plan, RIDOT will proceed to advertise a design build contract. RIDOT
anticipates that the contract will be advertised by the end of January, with
construction to begin in the fall of 2017.