RI Delegation Announces Over $54.7 Million in Grants for Transportation Upgrades and Climate Resiliency Projects Across the Ocean State

In a significant development for Rhode Island’s infrastructure resilience, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, alongside Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo, have unveiled the allocation of $54,750,800 in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Grant program. These grants mark a crucial step towards bolstering the state’s infrastructure against the mounting challenges posed by climate change.

Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, emphasized the importance of the federal funding in enhancing infrastructure safety and resilience. He highlighted the necessity of upgrading infrastructure to mitigate the impact of climate change and severe weather on Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, and coastal areas.

Senator Whitehouse, who played a pivotal role in establishing the PROTECT Grant program, underscored the urgency of addressing climate-related threats to iconic structures like the Mount Hope Bridge. He emphasized the need for proactive measures to safeguard critical infrastructure from the adverse effects of rising temperatures and humidity.

Congressman Magaziner echoed concerns about the increasing vulnerability of Rhode Island to climate change-induced hazards. He stressed the significance of the federal funding in modernizing aging infrastructure to ensure the safety of residents.

Congressman Amo highlighted the transformative impact of the investments on connecting communities and stimulating local economic activity. He underscored the importance of prioritizing climate resiliency projects to protect Rhode Islanders and enhance their quality of life.

The PROTECT Grant program, established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to fortify transportation infrastructure against natural hazards such as climate change, flooding, and extreme weather events. The recent grants will support various resilience projects across Rhode Island, including stormwater management, bridge upgrades, and coastal restoration efforts

$54,750,800 in PROTECT Grant funding was awarded to the following four Rhode Island projects:

  • The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will receive $26 million to manage stormwater drainage, reduce roadway flooding, and address climate change vulnerabilities at 97 locations across the state.
  • The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will receive $17 million to install a dehumidification system on the cables and anchors of the Mount Hope Bridge.  Senators Reed and Whitehouse previously secured a $10 million earmark in the FY2023 government funding law for dehumidification work that is currently underway on the Bridge, for a total of $27 million.  The dehumidification project will prevent erosion of the cables which has accelerated because of climate change.
  • The City of Newport will receive over $11 million to repair and stabilize the two sections of the Newport Cliff Walk that collapsed in 2022.  Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Amo secured an additional $5 million earmark for Cliff Walk repairs in the FY2024 government funding measure that was signed into law last month, for a total of over $16 million.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will receive $750,000 to develop a coastal management plan to address alternatives for three state roadway resurfacing projects along RI-136 to facilitate the Town of Warren’s “Market to Metacom” relocation plan.




Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!