RIDOT ends Federal Fiscal Year with $174 million in its construction program

FFY16 program is $60 million higher than previous year

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that RIDOT
put $174 million out for bid during the 2016 Federal Fiscal Year (FFY2016) – $60
million more than it did in the previous year and $74 million more than it did in
The details of the year-end accomplishments were published in RIDOT’s latest quarterly
report. The report covers the quarter ending September 30, 2016, the close of the
federal fiscal year.
«We closed out the prior quarter and the Federal Fiscal Year with an impressive
number of accomplishments, not least of which is getting construction underway on
more projects than we originally projected,» Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. «We
remain committed to being diligent stewards of the public investment taxpayers have
entrusted in us to deliver the highest quality transportation system possible for
Rhode Island.»
By the close of FFY2016, RIDOT initiated procurement for $174 million worth of work
under construction for 49 projects statewide, four more than expected. These included
three projects valued at $13.5 million that were scheduled to be advertised in the
next two years, but RIDOT was able to begin them sooner. The projects include
of I-95 from Elmwood Avenue to Eddy Street in Providence, a statewide pavement
project, and resurfacing of Smith Street in Providence. The fourth project is a
new project, to make $900,000 in pavement improvements to Route 138 in South Kingstown.
Including these projects, in FFY2016 RIDOT advertised contracts in the following

* Bridges:

32 bridges in 18 projects valued at $105.3 million

* Pavement:

8 projects valued at $30.3 million

* Traffic:

10 projects valued at $13.2 million

* Transportation Alternatives:

2 projects valued at $7.1 million

* Maintenance & Operations:

11 projects at $18.1 million

«This work not only represents much needed improvements to our transportation
made possible by our RhodeWorks program, but also represents jobs for construction
industry and additional economic benefits derived from having smooth roads and
bridges,» Alviti said.
The $174 million in construction contracts is 74 percent higher than just two years
ago. Aside from having access to this information online through the Quarterly
Report, the public is able to monitor progress on new RIDOT projects through project
accountability signs posted throughout the state. The signs – 155 installed so far
– clearly indicate when new projects are expected to begin and when current projects
are set to be finished and at what cost. The signs also include color coded markers
– much like a traffic signal – indicating in green, yellow and red whether or not
the project is on time and on budget. In the past quarter, nine previously installed
signs were changed to reflect minor adjustments to budgets and schedules.
Among the milestones reached during the past quarter:
Tolling Program
RIDOT executed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Highway
(FHWA), making it clear that the federal government agrees with Rhode Island’s program
to implement bridge tolls on large commercial vehicles or «tractor trailers» and
that it meets the toll eligibility requirement in federal law.
10-Year Plan
The 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.
Signature of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that allowed RIDOT and its partners
at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to go to market with an additional $300
million in Federal GARVEE bonds. Obtained at a 2.8 percent interest rate, the bonds
will fund the surge in bridge construction planned under RhodeWorks.
Rapid Bridge Construction
Over the course of two long weekend closures in September, RIDOT replaced the East
Shore Expressway and McCormick Quarry Bridges in East Providence – the first completed
in 83 hours and the second in just 65 hours. These represent the culture of innovation
and commitment to project delivery at RIDOT.
Providence River Pedestrian Bridge
RIDOT worked closely with our partners at the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission
to accelerate the advertisement of the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge. Notice
to Proceed was issued to the contractor in early September 2016.
Task Order Contracting
During the fourth quarter, some 49 task order contracts were awarded for design
and engineering support. This is an industry best practice employed by departments
of transportation around the country that gets future road and bridge projects ready
for construction faster than before.
Providence Transit Hub
RIDOT received proposals from four real estate development firms in response to
a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the construction of the Providence Intermodal
Transit Center, a facility that will integrate bus and train service with parking
and other economic development opportunities.
Providence-Newport Ferry
RIDOT closed a successful first season for the Providence-Newport ferry, with more
than 33,000 passengers enjoying travel by ferry on Narragansett Bay. RIDOT is
ways to provide expanded ferry service in 2017. Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter
Rail Station RIDOT was awarded a highly competitive TIGER grant for $13.1 million
for the development of the Pawtucket/Central Falls Train Station.
Richmond Welcome Center
RIDOT reopened the rest area on I-95 North between Exits 2 and 3 in time for Labor
Day weekend with portable restroom facilities, and later opened the rest area’s
indoor facilities by Columbus Day weekend.
RIDOT has engaged with two firms to complete a statewide drainage inventory and
RIDOT in-house crews are making progress toward cleaning and inspecting catch basins.
RIDOT hosted the first Impaired Driving Summit at the Community College of Rhode
Island’s Knight Campus in Warwick in August, with more than 100 participants.
The Quarterly Report is an important component of earning the public’s trust in
the Department and being accountable to the taxpayers of the State of Rhode Island.
Going beyond the statutory requirement of the RhodeWorks legislation which requires
quarterly reporting, the document also includes updates on key accomplishments during
the quarter, personnel and organizational structure of the department, construction
contract awards, bridge condition information, safety information, maintenance
special projects and RIDOT’s efforts toward resolving legacy issues. The document
is available online on RIDOT’s website at www.ridot.net/accountability