U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, announced Thursday a $60.3 million boost for Rhode Island road and bridge work in the coming weeks to help move transportation projects forward ahead of schedule.
Reed says the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is getting an extra $60,353,767 to advance shovel-ready projects in the coming weeks while providing the state with enhanced flexibility to allocate state transportation funds to other road and bridge improvements, as well as bike and pedestrian projects.
The new money comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s annual August redistribution. Each year, FHWA shifts transportation funding authority from states unable to utilize the full amount of funding originally authorized to them, as well as from federal transportation grant and loan programs that were underutilized in the current fiscal year, to states that have shovel-ready projects and are able to utilize the funding before the close of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
To qualify for this extra funding, RIDOT demonstrated that it will fully utilize the $60.3 million in the coming weeks on projects which fit all requirements for receiving additional federal funding. The additional funds will benefit several ongoing RIDOT projects, including work along Route 37, as well as interstate resurfacing and road repaving projects to bring Rhode Island’s roads into a state of good repair, bridge enhancements, and bike path preservation.
“This extra $60.3 million in federal spending authority for Rhode Island road improvements and infrastructure upgrades is great news for the state. I commend Director Alviti for his strategic and cost-effective planning and management. His leadership of RIDOT is helping to modernize our transportation network. I know he and his team will put these federal funds to good use, completing projects and getting them done on budget and ahead of schedule,” said Senator Reed, who supported RIDOT’s request to the Federal Highway Administration.
“We are so grateful for the efforts of Senator Reed and the entire Congressional Delegation in constantly going to bat for Rhode Island and providing us additional federal funding,” Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “Our 10-year plan allows us to plug in this funding and put it to use to bring our transportation system into good repair for all users. We will be obligating these funds immediately and advertising the projects this fall.”
RIDOT will obligate these funds for specific projects by September 26, 2023.
This year’s redistribution for RIDOT brings the total the state has received over the last six years to $206.6 million, and marks a significant increase over last year’s amount of $48.5 million.
Nationwide, FHWA reallocated $7.9 billion in federal funding to states this August after revaluating its fiscal spending projections for 2023. In order to receive the federal funds, states are required to match a percentage of the federal funds.
This additional $60.3 million brings Rhode Island’s transportation total to nearly $500 million in federal funding for our roads, bridges, and pedestrian projects in Fiscal Year 2023, in large part thanks to Senator Reed’s advocacy.
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!