(The Center Square) – A new $36 million paving project in Rhode Island will give one of the state’s worst highways fresh blacktop for the first time in nearly two decades.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced it is undertaking a project to repave 40 miles of Interstate-295 from the Massachusetts state line in Cumberland to Warwick at the I-95 interchange to restore the highway that hasn’t been paved since 2004.
The project is the first of the department’s $92 million investment to repave highways this year, and part of a $492 million repaving project over the next five years, according to the release.
Funding for the projects, according to the release, will use a mixture of dollars from RhodeWorks and the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Improvement Act.
“Our administration has a plan, and historic federal funding, to finally tackle Rhode Island’s worst roads and bridges," Gov. Dan McKee said in the release. “This is a plan that will help mitigate extreme weather events like we had earlier this week and create good-paying jobs in the process. Infrastructure has always been a crucial component of Rhode Island’s economy, and we know it is essential to continuing our economic momentum."
According to the release, the paving project will encompass both northbound and southbound lanes to Exit 12, the Route 44 interchange, through two paving projects. The second will focus on paving from Route 44 to I-95. However, off ramps will be paved next spring.
Environmentally, according to the release, the project will utilize state-of-the-art research to construct a more durable and smoother highway surface, while saving millions of dollars for taxpayers.
The department will also make stormwater improvements, according to the release, at 12 locations along the highway, in addition to widening and regrading current drainage channels.
Work on the project is anticipated, according to the release, to be complete in 2024 on the highways that carry more than 160,000 vehicles each day.