WOONSOCKET, RI – In an effort to repair and maintain the River Street Bridge, the Singleton Street Bridge, and several other Woonsocket bridges, culverts, and sidewalks, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, today delivered $6.5 million in federal funds for a series of upcoming infrastructure upgrades that will include street enhancements, sidewalk repair, and improvements in pedestrian safety.

This infusion of federal funding will help Woonsocket and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) accelerate plans to rehabilitate bridges, remediate lead paints hazards, and upgrade sidewalks along heavily trafficked roads.

Today, Senator Reed joined Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. to celebrate the federal earmarks, which Reed secured in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 117-103) and the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 117-328).

With freezing temperatures outside, the group met in Woonsocket’s Harris Hall to discuss how the federal funds will be put to use improving bridges and sidewalks before touring the nearby River Street Bridge, which was built in 1959.  This bridge, along with the neighboring Singleton Street Bridge, will benefit from a $2.5 million federal earmark secured by Reed in FY 2022 to remediate lead paint and to prevent toxins from contaminating the air, land, and water surrounding the bridge.

In an effort to preserve, rehabilitate, or replace eight bridges and culverts in Woonsocket and to provide key upgrades to sidewalks on Social Street, one of Woonsocket’s busiest throughways, Senator Reed also secured a $4 million federal earmark in FY 2023 for RIDOT to carry out design and construction.

The earmarks secured by Senator Reed, along with federal funding provided through the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58), will allow RIDOT to invest more than $60 million into 14 Woonsocket bridges over the next several years.  Reed also helped make $70 million in federal funding available for Woonsocket through the American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2), which the city may use to address a range of priorities.

“I secured these federal dollars to be spent on areas of greatest community needs, and I am pleased to work with the city and RIDOT to upgrade Woonsocket’s infrastructure.  These bridges are vital community connections in Woonsocket and support our local economy.  Rehabbing these bridges will enhance safety and extend their longevity while also addressing potential lead paint hazards often found in historic and aging bridges.  And when these new sidewalks are completed it will pave the way to a more pedestrian-friendly, walkable community,” said Senator Reed. “I will continue working to deliver federal investments to spur economic growth and improve connectivity, safety, and public health.” 

“Senator Reed is a great friend to the City of Woonsocket. The federal funding that he secured and we are announcing today will help move forward projects that the City has been prioritizing for years,” said Mayor Baldelli-Hunt. “Receiving funding like this takes the burden off of our city’s tax payers.”

“We thank Senator Reed for continually going to bat for Rhode Island and all its cities and towns,” Director Alviti said. “He is the difference maker that helps us move these long-anticipated projects forward so we can deliver safe and well-maintained bridges for the citizens of Woonsocket.”

Design for these projects is expected to begin this year and construction is anticipated to begin by 2026.  The sidewalks will be compliant with American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.