WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), and Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW), today announced that Rhode Island is receiving $25,891,967 in additional federal funding for transportation infrastructure upgrades this year.
The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) annual August redistribution means that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will have access to dollars not spent by other states to move forward with several shovel-ready road improvement projects across Rhode Island.
The additional funds will benefit several RIDOT projects, including: Route 78 resurfacing and improvements to existing barrier and draining system and signage; resurfacing US-6 (Route 102 to Danielson Pike); street maintenance and sidewalk improvements along Route 44 (Putnam Pike); enhancing highway safety on I-95 curves in Pawtucket; and other various road maintenance and safety projects.
RIDOT will obligate these funds for specific projects by September 25, 2018, before the end of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
“This is good news for the state and I am pleased this money will be swiftly put to work on road improvements and safety enhancements throughout the state. Governor Raimondo and Director Alviti are working hard to strategically and cost-effectively modernize our transportation infrastructure and these federal funds should boost those efforts,” said Senator Reed.
“These resources will help reduce traffic, improve safety for drivers and pedestrians, and facilitate commerce across the state,” said Senator Whitehouse. “I was glad to work with Senator Reed to secure federal funds that can support Governor Raimondo’s bold plan to improve the quality and safety of Rhode Island’s roads and bridges.”
“These funds give a welcome boost to critical infrastructure projects we have that are ready to go,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. “We are grateful to our Congressional delegation for their support in securing these funds and we will get to work and use them well to repair our roads and bridges.”
This year’s redistribution for RIDOT marks a significant increase over prior year amounts. Rhode Island received $17 million in FHWA redistribution funds through the program last year, and $11 million the year prior.
In March of 2018, Congress enacted an Omnibus Appropriations bill, which Senator Reed helped craft, providing over $86.2 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation, a record funding amount and an increase of almost $10 billion over fiscal year 2017 funding levels.
The August redistribution funds are allocated in accordance with the requirements of section 120(c) of the THUD section of that law, known as the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations bill, also known as the “Omnibus,” so that priority is given to those states that have large unobligated balances of funds apportioned under sections 144 and 104 of title 23, United States Code.