Reed Delivers $25.3 Million to Upgrade Route 37 & New Quonset Connector Ramps
New $21.3 million federal BUILD grant will help rebuild deteriorating bridges along Interstate-295/Route 37 corridor & help ease travel for drivers through ‘Cranston Canyon’ & $4 million award will help improve access and traffic flow around Quonset Business Park
CRANSTON, RI - The state’s effort to improve traffic flow around Quonset Business Park and upgrade a key stretch of Route 37, which connects Cranston and Warwick, is getting a $25.3 million boost thanks to two new federal grants announced by U.S. Senator Jack Reed. Senator Reed says $21,329,338 should be put to work in Cranston rebuilding six bridge structures in the area and adding a third lane at I-295 North with new pavement and minor widening. The new auxiliary lane from Route 37 to the top of the hill (what’s known locally as the “Cranston Canyon”) will give drivers more room to maneuver and ease commuter congestion.
When it is completed, this project will repair nearly 70,000 square feet of structurally deficient bridge deck, and make much-needed safety improvements to the Route 37/I-295 Interchange. RIDOT estimates the total cost of the project will be $85 million.
Additionally, a new $4 million BUILD grant will help RIDOT advance a design study for constructing full freeway-to-freeway access between I-95 and Route 4, and from Quonset Business Park to Route 4 via Route 403. RIDOT plans to spend $5 million to address the so-called “missing move” – a direct connection between the Route 4 and Interstate 95 South.
The federal grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program -- formerly known as TIGER grants -- which focuses on economic development and infrastructure upgrades.
Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee, helped create the TIGER/BUILD grant program, has led efforts to fund it, and directly advocated for this grant with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who told him of the award during a telephone conversation earlier today.
“This federal funding will help improve traffic and safety conditions. The result will be a safer, more efficient interchange along these well-traveled commercial and freight corridors,” said Senator Reed. “I appreciate Secretary Chao’s support for these important projects. I will continue working to ensure the federal government invests in upgrading Rhode Island's infrastructure.”
In Cranston, this new $21.3 million grant will build on a previous $20 million federal grant the state received in 2017 to help pay for the Route 37 Bridge and Roadway Improvement Project. RIDOT is currently putting that money to use rehabilitating a series of bridges and culverts along Route 37 and making safety modifications to Route 37’s westbound Exit 3 off-ramp in order to improve mobility and safety.
In addition to repairing bridges and addressing the Cranston Canyon, RIDOT also plans to use the federal funds to extend a third lane northbound to Plainfield Pike, improve the Route 37 East Ramp to I-295 North for safety, and create a new interchange on Route 37 at Route 2.
Senator Reed has previously delivered federal funding to improve Quonset’s transportation infrastructure and growing capacity to keep up with demand both now and in the future. Besides being Rhode Island’s largest industrial park, hosting more than 200 companies, Quonset is also home to the Port of Davisville, one of the top roll-on roll-off ports in the country. Thanks to a series of smart federal and state infrastructure investments, the port has become a multimodal gateway to markets throughout Southern New England.
As a result of Senator Reed’s leadership on the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Congress has appropriated nearly $8 billion for eleven rounds of TIGER/BUILD grants to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact. Reed led efforts to secure $900 million for these competitive grants in last year's appropriations law.
Since 2010, Senator Reed has successfully delivered over $175 million in federal TIGER/BUILD grant funding to Rhode Island.