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.