Greater City Providence

City publishes list of planned street improvements tied to November Road Bond

From the City of Providence:

City of Providence Publishes List of Planned Street Improvements

Roads throughout the capital city will be fixed if voters approve $40 million bond on Nov. 6; Mayor’s Office to hold series of informational meetings

road_bondPROVIDENCE, RI – Starting today residents of Providence can view the list of planned street improvements in the capital city. Voters will decide on November 6, 2012 whether or not to approve the $40 million roads bond to fund these improvements. The list of planned street improvements and accompanying maps can be viewed at

In addition, the Office of Mayor Angel Taveras will hold informational meetings throughout the city in the coming weeks to explain the scientific, merit-based process that was used to identify roads for repair and to explain how the bond will work if voters approve the measure.

Independent civil engineers Vanasse Hangen Brustlin surveyed and ranked every street in Providence to produce a list of 65 miles of roadway recommended for repair. The engineers used the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pavement Condition Index to rank the condition of each road, and took into account its estimated cost of repair, the useful life of the repair and the amount of daily vehicle traffic on each road to produce a recommended list of improvement projects that benefits the most motorists in the city with the funds available.

While projects have been identified and the city has drafted a road-work schedule, construction times and final projects may be amended based on circumstances beyond the city’s control, including but not limited to new private development in the coming years, emergency utility work, unexpected road decay and unanticipated changes in project costs.

Starting next week, officials from the city’s Finance Department and the Department of Public Works will conduct a series of information sessions to explain and answer questions about the process used to identify road repairs and how the bond will work if voters approve the measure.

Residents are invited to attend the forum most convenient for their schedule:

  • Thursday, September 27 at 7pm: Esek Hopkins Middle School, 480 Charles Street in the North End
  • Tuesday, October 2 at 7pm: Nathan Bishop Middle School, 101 Sessions Street on Smith Hill
  • Wednesday, October 10 at 7pm: Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School, 195 Nelson Street in Elmhurst
  • Tuesday, October 16 at 7pm: William D’Abate Elementary School, 60 Kossuth Street in Olneyville
  • Tuesday, October 23 at 7pm: William B. Cooley High School, 182 Thurbers Avenue in South Providence

In July, Mayor Taveras proposed and the City Council approved putting a $40 million general obligation bond on the Nov. 6 ballot. If Ballot Question 8 is approved by Providence’s voters, the bond would pay for repairs to about 15 percent of all city-maintained roads in every part of Providence, create an estimated 750 jobs over three years, prevent more costly road repairs in future years, improve the quality of life in Providence and help to retain and recruit businesses to the capital city.

If approved, road construction will begin in the spring of 2013 and continue through the end of 2015.

[alert type=”muted”]$40M Road Paving Plan Map
$40M Road Paving Plan Schedule [/alert]

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Doyle between Camp and N. Main, not until Fall 2014?! Good luck with that…they’re already patching it almost weekly to keep it from completely disintegrating.

    And I have to wonder what’s up with the Harian/Alton/Bevelin/Lincoln repair? I walk on those streets and there’s nothing wrong with them. Also, they are back roads, almost dead-ends, not well-traveled thoroughfares.

  • Ah good – Knight St. is solid black between Atwells and Broadway. And according to legend, it’s a planned project. About damned time.

    I’m a little confused on the blue segments though. That indicates benefit value and Knight is a main cut-through that spans from Atwells to Westminster. It’s used by public safety a hell of a lot.

  • With the information presented by city I doubt I could support the bond issuance, and unfortunately I can not attend any of these proposed forums to learn more. While I totally support pavement preservation before repair costs escalate exponentially (, I also think spending $40 million dollars and working on so many roads in such a short period of time, is a phenomenal opportunity to add bike lanes, sharrows, road diets (which would save money), etc. It is a matter of paint, which does not cost that much.

    Simply repaving roads just as they are pushes the opportunity to achieve something closer to Complete Streets further away. While I would love to think the City is going to do this, I can’t know with the information present. I think the Mayor needs to step up the information campaign in order to achieve my vote. If the city doesn’t plan on accommodating bicyclists in these projects I certainly will not vote for this.

    I also can’t fathom why they would propose to program these projects essentially by neighborhood. That is simply inviting the neighborhoods in the out years to not have their streets repaved if costs rise, which unfortunately they often do. If this plan was really based on cost effectiveness and average daily traffic then the work would proposed all over the city in each year of the proposed program.

  • I am pretty much in total agreement with T Wadsworth. I still think that street repair investment without any effort to curb the abuse the streets currently take is unwise. Coupled with a plan that might reduce vehicle use where plausible and this is something worth supporting. Absent any sort of real improvement in functionality and what we have is one big project to take care of years of neglect that ignores the source of the problem.

    I was also surprised at just how “ward-based” the sequencing was. My guess is the mayor had to concede to this kind of sequencing as a trade for not letting the City Council play around with the money more. In the backroom it appears he won the right to control which streets were repaired based on some more empirical process, but at the cost of sequencing it in a favorable way to certain councilors.

  • I would like to see National Grid and Providence Water held more responsible for the patch jobs they do every time they dig a hole. They’re the main reason our roads are in the condition they’re in. Besides that, I’m all for this bond.

  • I wonder if sidewalk/curb ramp and other ADA compliance issues will be a part of the project? They were a part of the Branch Ave reconstruction but I haven’t heard if they will be as a part of this massive undertaking. I’d hate to see them glaze over those issues since they won’t be using federal funds, which would require it.