With the $81 million Pawtucket River Bridge replacement project set to conclude within days, state and local officials are planning two big events to celebrate.
Development of a future commuter rail station in the city’s Barton Street neighborhood, once little more than a dream, is now a good possibility within the next few years, said state officials last week.
City officials in Pawtucket and neighboring Central Falls say the train station would be a “game changer,” functioning as an economic driver and providing convenient transportation to commuters and tourists along the Northeast Corridor.
Did you want more transit news today? From the Pawtucket Foundation:
June 13th: 6PM – Commuter Rail Station Public Meeting
You are invited to attend a Rhode Island Department of Transportation and City of Pawtucket Public Meeting
CONCERNING THE POTENTIAL PAWTUCKET COMMUTER RAIL STATION
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Open House: 6:00 PM
Presentation: 6:30 PM
Blackstone Valley Visitor’s Center
175 Main Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the City of Pawtucket invite members of the community to a Public Meeting on Thursday June 13, 2013, to learn more about the Pawtucket Commuter Rail Station Project.
The meeting will take place at the Blackstone Valley Visitor’s Center, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket. Beginning at 6:00 PM, representatives from RIDOT, the City of Pawtucket, and the project team, will host an open house to discuss the project and answer questions. At 6:30 PM, RIDOT will present an overview of the Pawtucket Commuter Rail Project, which is exploring options for a potential station to reintroduce commuter rail service to Pawtucket. The Project will evaluate site, environmental, and rail impacts associated with a new station on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Providence Line.
The Blackstone Valley Visitor’s Center is located at RIPTA’s Pawtucket Transit Center and is accessible to persons with disabilities. Spanish translation services will be available at the meeting. Individuals who do not speak the English or Spanish languages or who are hearing impaired may contact RIDOT on or before June 6, 2013, to request an interpreter. Please direct interpreter requests to email@example.com or (401) 222-2450.
- Si esta información es necesaria en otro idioma, llame al (401) 222-2450.
- Se esta informacao e nevessario emu ma outro lingua, contate por favor (401) 222-2450.
Recently, the Federal Transportation Adminstration issued two grants for RIPTA and now RIDOT is recieving Federal Highway Administration grants for three projects.
Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Program • $360,000
Browning Mill Bridge carrying Arcadia road over Roaring Brook: The project uses relatively new bridge replacement technology known as “Bridge in Backpack.” Construction time for this innovative construction method is much faster than the conventional cast-in-place construction technique, improving safety and minimizing traffic impact.
Interstate Maintenance Discretionary (IMD) Program • $3,341,000
I-95 Pawtucket River Bridge Reconstruction Project in Providence*: The project will replace a structurally deficient interstate bridge (between exits 27 and 28 in Pawtucket) that was constructed in 1958 to carry 60,000 vehicles per day but now carries approximately 162,000 vehicles per day.
Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program (TCSP) • $400,000
Warwick Station Transit Oriented Development Economic Development Implementation Plan: TCSP funds will help advance the economic development outreach for a proposed transit project in Warwick.
* This is actually for the Pawtucket River Bridge in Pawtucket, I don’t know why it says Providence, maybe Providence County.
The two Rhode Island Cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls have partnered with The Pawtucket Foundation to champion a river corridor redevelopment initiative. Local businesses, property owners and the State of Rhode Island have teamed up, pooled resources and are working together to catalyze real estate development projects and infrastructure improvements to make the riverfront the centerpiece of revitalization efforts.
While still behind schedule, RIDOT announced today that the northbound span of the New Pawtucket River Bridge on Route 95 will open to traffic tomorrow, ending years of trucks over 18 tons being detoured on local streets. Southbound traffic will remain on the old bridge while work continues and the southbound weight limits and detours will remain.
To move traffic and restripe northbound lanes, lane closures will occur on Route 95 northbound beginning at 9pm tonight. 95 north will be shut down complete after midnight with all traffic directed to Exit 27 and the Division Street bridge.
Closures are scheduled to end at 5am Friday with all through traffic on the new bridge deck. The School Street exit which was closed earlier this month will also re-open Friday morning.
More information at RIDOT.
Barry Schiller, a retired Rhode Island College math professor, is a long-time member of the State Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee. He also was on the RIPTA Board of Directors 1995-1999.
Have you heard that Pawtucket officials are “doing away with Pawtucket’s RIPTA bus hub?” This was reported in the 11/29 Valley Breeze.
The article indicates that Pawtucket officials believe passengers hanging around at this hub near the Visitors Center are interfering with their hopes for downtown redevelopment. But their proposal is likely to result in passengers losing an indoor waiting room, with access to heat, seating, bathrooms, travel information, and security. Though buses will still stop in downtown Pawtucket and RIPTA has not yet worked out alternative service, closing this facility would likely make passengers have to stand around outdoors, even in the snow, cold and dark that comes at winter and at night. Further, “spreading the service” out among other nearby bus stops, as mentioned in the article, could make it harder to transfer. Passengers may have to wait at isolated locations which are perceived to be less safe.
It is ironic that this comes at a time when RIPTA is investing in enhancing service on the #99 Pawtucket-Providence line.
As Rhode Island’s capital city celebrates its 375th birthday, our 4th largest city, Pawtucket celebrates its 125th.
While European settlement in what is now Pawtucket surely dates back almost as far as the founding of Providence, the city is celebrating its incorporation as a city, which took place in 1886. Prior to the 1860′s the state line between Rhode Island and Massachusetts was at the Blackstone River and the eastern sections of present day Pawtucket were part of the Commenwealth, specifically, Rehoboth.
The Pawtucket Times has a story about the 125th birthday celebration.
Dozens of cyclists joined an inaugural ride of the new on-street bike path and roving press conference. Lots of distinguished guests including Senator Jack Reed spoke at the roving press conference.
Photo from Cycle Blackstone’s Facebook Page
Monday, July 11 • 8:30am – 11:30am
Along the on-road connector East Providence to Cumberland
Great news – both the sharrows and temporary signage have been installed along the designated route between Cumberland and East Providence! We’re gearing up to hold our press conference and we want to invite you to join us in celebrating the completion of the route.
Please meet us at any of the locations below:
- 8:30 – Opening Ceremony – East Providence (East Bay Bike Path Parking Lot on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway) Depart at 9:00
- 9:30 – Speaking – Providence (Lippitt Park at the end of Blackstone Boulevard) Depart at 9:45
- 10:00 – Speaking – Pawtucket (Pawtucket Visitor’s Center on the corner of Roosevelt and Main) Depart at 10:15
- 10:30 – Closing Ceremony – Cumberland (Start of Blackstone Valley Bikeway on Jones Street)