PROVIDENCE, RI – In an effort to fix Rhode Island’s roads and bridges, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), today announced that Rhode Island is receiving $48,536,933 in additional federal funding for transportation infrastructure upgrades this year.  The additional federal spending authority will help the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) 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 improvement projects.

 

The new money comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 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 end of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

 

To qualify for this extra funding, RIDOT demonstrated that it will fully utilize the $48.5 million in the coming weeks on current projects which fit all requirements for receiving additional federal funding.  The additional funds will benefit several ongoing RIDOT projects, including the East Bay Bike Path, as well as interstate resurfacing and road repaving projects to bring Rhode Island’s roads into a state of good repair, and bridge enhancements such as upgrades to the Park Avenue Railroad Bridge and the Pawtucket River Bridge.

 

“This is good news for the state.  It means an extra $48.5 million in federal funding for road improvements and infrastructure upgrades throughout Rhode Island.  I commend Director Alviti for his strategic and cost-effective management to help modernize our transportation network and put these federal funds to work completing projects ahead of schedule,” said Senator Reed.

 

RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. stated: “Once again, Senator Jack Reed and the Rhode Island delegation have secured funds to expedite bringing Rhode Island’s infrastructure into a state of good repair.  We will use these funds to first, backfill the gap in the actual cost of the East Bay Bike Path bridges with $9 million so we can rebuild both bridges and the remainder we will use for pavement preservation, a priority of Governor McKee.”

 

RIDOT will obligate these funds for specific projects by September 27, 2022.

 

This year’s redistribution for RIDOT brings the total the state has received over the last five years to $146,294,744 and marks a significant increase over last year’s amount of $22,941,747.

 

The FHWA reallocated $6.1 billion in federal funding to states this August after revaluating its fiscal spending projections for 2022.  In order to receive the federal funds, states are required to match a percentage of the federal funds.

 

Senator Reed helped include an estimated $376 million for Rhode Island roads and bridges through the THUD Appropriations section of the fiscal 2022 Appropriations Law and an estimated $1.7 billion in additional funding for Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure over five years in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.