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RIPTA to relocate buses out of Kennedy Plaza to accommodate construction starting July 12, 2014

ripta-map-k-plaza

From RIPTA:


RIPTA to Temporarily Relocate Bus Stops Out of Kennedy Plaza to Accommodate City of Providence Construction

All Routes Detoured Out of Kennedy Plaza Beginning Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will temporarily relocate all bus stops out of Kennedy Plaza beginning Saturday, July 12, 2014 to accommodate City of Providence renovations of the Plaza. These renovations will create a large civic space, reorganize bus berth locations and improve pedestrian connections to and from the plaza. The work is expected to be complete Fall 2014. All routes will be slightly detoured to avoid entering Kennedy Plaza. Bus stops will be relocated to Exchange Terrace, Sabin Street, Exchange Street, Fountain Street and Steeple Street. Park N’ Ride service will be relocated from Exchange Terrace to Sabin St. but will continue to pick up passengers at other downtown locations. Peter Pan and Greyhound passengers will continue to load and unload at their current stop in front of the Kennedy Plaza Terminal.

Ticketing and other passenger amenities will remain open inside the Kennedy Plaza Terminal during the construction period. RIPTA’s Kennedy Plaza sales and information outlet will remain open during construction. Customers are advised to enter through the side door on the Fulton Street side, near City Hall.

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News & Notes

Kennedy Plaza

Two ProJo articles last weekend about Kennedy Plaza:

→ The Providence Journal: A View from Providence: Hangout or hub, Kennedy Plaza certainly is quirky

People get off buses. Others get on. Some stand in line, others stand around. They wear headphones and backpacks, some carry bags.
The plaza draws folks from all walks. Students. Workers. Homeless. Peddlers. Visitors.

→ The Providence Journal: Some argue that good parks and public spaces can revitalize RI economy

In Kennedy Plaza, bus and vehicle traffic compete with people wanting to use the park. There is too much hard surface; too few trees. There’s too much noise; too little to do.

“If you leave public spaces barren you get this blight,” Wood said. “You create a draw for all sorts of undesirable activity.”

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→ ProJo: Revived historic tax credits drawing good news for 32 of 41 applicants

Thirty-two of 41 applicants for a revived state historic tax credit program are assured of getting the tax breaks they are seeking if they obtain the permits and approvals needed to participate in the program.

My understanding is that 7 or more of the projects are in Downtown Providence. According to PBN:

The identity of the applicants will be revealed once they have signed a tax credit contract with the Division of Taxation. Once the tax credit is received, the recipient’s name and other information will be posted publicly by the agency as well.

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Work Begins to rebuild street grid on the Former I-195 Land

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Route 195 under construction, July 2, 1957 – Photo from the RIDOT archives.

Gov. Chafee, Congressional Delegation, Assembly Members, City Officials, Private Sector Leaders Break Ground as Infrastructure Work Commences

Important Step in Readying Land for Responsible, Job-Generating Development

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee joined members of Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation, General Assembly members, state and City of Providence officials, and private sector leaders today to break ground on the next phase of the I-195 relocation project. Infrastructure work has now begun in the footprint of the former I-195 to rebuild the surrounding city streets.

“The work taking place now is a fundamental step toward the responsible, job-generating development of this valuable land, which holds a tremendous potential for economic development here in the capital city,” Governor Chafee said. “By upgrading our infrastructure around these properties, we can attract leaders in high-growth industries to create good jobs here in Rhode Island.”

The $13 million contract with the Cardi Corporation will focus on roadways west of the Providence River. Work will begin with underground utilities, and move on to the streets as spring and summer progress. The goal is to create a more efficient configuration for all modes of transportation, from cars to bikes to pedestrians. Final completion is anticipated in 2014.

“Today marks a significant step forward in the I-195 Commission’s efforts to realize the highest and best use of these parcels of land,” said Chairman Colin P. Kane. “The groundbreaking represents a nearly $50 million investment by the federal government, state, City government and the utility providers to truly create a dynamic Knowledge District reconnected by new city streets, sidewalks, enhanced infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle paths, and public parks. All great places are built on strong foundations, and today kicks off the beginning of this foundation. The Commission, working with its partners in the state and City of Providence, together offer a platform for job creation and a flywheel of economic development.”

“We ask that the residents bear with us and be patient while we complete this important work,” Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael P. Lewis said. “The result will be an alignment that will better support the city with improved access to the new highway and the neighborhoods nearby.”

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New Pawtucket River Bridge northbound span to open tomorrow

ridot-pawtucket-bridge

New Pawtucket River Bridge. Photo © RIDOT

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.

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Why restore Orms Street to four lanes?

Orms Street Overpass

Orms Street bridge over Route 95. Image from Bing Maps.

RIDOT began work on the Orms Street bridge over Route 95 over the weekend. The bridge is being partially closed in two parts between now and the spring of 2013. Currently the bridge’s 4-lanes are reduced to two and shifted to the northern side of the bridge while the southern side is demolished and rebuilt. Sometime in early 2012, the traffic will flip to the new section and the northern section will be rebuilt. After that, Orms Street will be restored to four lanes.

Why?

If the bridge is able to function for nearly two years with a reduction in lanes, surely it can remain forever like that.

RIDOT describes the project:

The Orms Street Bridge Safety Improvement Project began in early August. It involves full bridge deck replacement and rehabilitation of the remaining structure, installation of new fencing, installation of new roadway joints, sidewalk replacement, and preparing and repainting existing structural steel.

Through a $4.6 million contract with Cardi Corporation, the project also includes roadway improvements to Orms Street, such as resurfacing, resetting of granite curb, installation of signing and pavement markings, and the installation of video detection equipment at the traffic signals. This equipment will replace the current loop detectors and will help to better manage traffic flow.

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Lane shift on Weybosset, students back

Weybosset Street

The lanes on Weybosset Street have shifted over to the new concrete road bed at PPAC Square. Removal of the old blacktop is underway infront of PPAC.

They are hard to see in the photo (I should hace taken a better one), but notice the new streetlights. One lamp hangs over the roadway, a lower one hangs over the sidewalk. Space above the sidewalk lamp allows for banners to be attached to the post.

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Weybosset Street/PPAC Square progress

Two weeks ago I took some photos in the PPAC Square area, then never bothered to post them. So I took some more yesterday which actually gives an opportunity to show how work is starting to come together.

PPAC Square

August 10th

One of my friends on Flickr noted that these tree well/bench dealies were body sized and this one appears to be flagged for Carol. We don’t know who Carol is, if she has already passed on, or if someone is planning ahead. If your name is Carol, watch your back.

PPAC Square

August 10th

They also make good storage for crushed barrels and random debris. My question, are these actually big enough for a healthy tree? They seem to be open at the bottom, but don’t most trees roots generally spread out, not down into a hole then out? Are we going to have large healthy shade trees in these tombs, or little decorative trees?

PPAC Square

August 23rd

I also have to wonder why? Why spend the time, energy, and money creating these bunkers when you could simply plant a tree in a hole and build a bench around it? If we didn’t build these things, wouldn’t we have more room for more mature trees?

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RI receives $1.6 million in grants from the Federal Highway Administration

Interlink

View from the Interlink in Warwick.

Governor Chafee, RIDOT, announce Federal transportation grant award

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded $1.6 million in grants to Rhode Island for a series of road and bridge projects. The grants are among a nationwide distribution of funds which RIDOT applied for earlier this summer.

The grants include:

  • $847,860 for projects related to transit-oriented development in the area of the train station at the InterLink facility at T.F. Green State Airport.
  • A waiver of the customary 20 percent state match (valued at approximately $600,000) for replacement of the East Shore Expressway Bridge in East Providence.
  • $350,000 for replacement of three structurally deficient bridges in and near the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter.
  • $250,260 for training to help disadvantaged business enterprises prepare to compete for Federal highway contracts.
  • $225,000 to provide additional training to help individuals prepare for careers in highway construction.
  • “I believe that one of the most valuable investments our state can make is in our infrastructure,” Governor Chafee said. “These federal grants will help Rhode Island plan for the future, in addition to strengthening our infrastructure-related construction economy. I am particularly pleased that a significant portion of the funds will go toward further developing Warwick’s Station District. As Mayor and U.S. Senator, I fought to make the InterLink project a reality and I look forward to seeing the advancements and improvements these funds will enable.”

    The largest of the grants for projects near the T.F. Green Station is provided under FHWA’s Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program. The funds will be used to advance and implement the Warwick Station Development District Master Plan developed by the City of Warwick. The Plan is expected to guide approximately 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development. It envisions a highly-visible, mixed-use, transit-oriented growth center within walking distance of a full range of transportation and live/work options. The City is seeking to capitalize on the public investment in multimodal transportation infrastructure by promoting high-value, mixed-use development to attract visitors and business people who use the station and airport while providing a center of opportunity for new development.

    “Having well-developed streets and sidewalks is a key component of integrating the InterLink into the City of Warwick and supporting the District for future development,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “The end result is a better connection between the City, the Airport, the InterLink and the T.F. Green commuter rail station.”

It is great to see RIDOT and the Governor value mixed-use development in the Warwick Station area. Jefferson Boulevard and the areas around the train station and the airport have great potential to be a second city for Rhode Island. It has to be developed to be a place where people want to be, that is scaled to people, not their cars. Otherwise it will be just another soul-sucking office park.

The rest of the Press Release:

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Dislike: Walking in the street

Photo by Andy Morris

Yes, everytime I run into someone downtown they say, “are you going to write about the sidewalks on Washington Street?”

Truth is, I’m totally avoiding Washington Street if I can help it. A bunch of things are conspiring to result in there often being no sidewalk on either side of Washington Street.

One thing is good, we like it, new sidewalks are being installed, yay! However, when work is being done on a sidewalk, there needs to be a place for people to go, either make pedestrians cross if there is no room, or block off a secion of the road.

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Chestnut Street closed June 15-29 for Route 195 removal

Aerial photo of Route 195 at Chestbut Street
Photo from RIDOT

RIDOT is scheduled to temporarily close a portion of Chestnut Street in Providence, between Clifford Street and Friendship Street at the old I-195 overpass, on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 6am. This segment of Chestnut Street will remain closed for approximately two weeks, reopening by June 29, 2011. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

The closure is necessary to allow for safe demolition of the old highway bridge, part of a $6.8 million Iway demolition contract.

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RIDOT to Temporarily Close Portion of I-95 During Overnight Hours in Pawtucket

Pawtucket Route 95 closure and detour map
Click image to enlarge

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be temporarily closing portions of I-95 in Pawtucket during the overnight hours. Work will begin Sunday, June 12, 2011 in order to dismantle the bridge beams from the George Street Bridge over I-95. RIDOT is replacing the George Street Bridge as part of the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project.

“To ensure the safety of motorists as well as our construction crews, we need to close I-95 while we perform this operation,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “We appreciate the continued patience of the motoring public as we work to complete this project.”

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East Side Bus Tunnel Temporary Detours

The East Side Bus Tunnel will be partially closed for lighting upgrades April 27-29 and May 2.

Due to East Side Tunnel Closing, RIPTA to Detour Six Routes In Providence April 27 – 29 and May 2, 2011

Detours will be in effect 8:30am – 2:00pm

April 25, 2011 – Providence, RI… Due to the temporary closing of the East Side Tunnel in Providence, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will temporarily detour Route 35 (Rumford/Newport Ave.), Route 40 (Butler/Elmgrove), Route 42 (Hope Street), Route 49 (Camp Street/Miriam Hospital), Route 78 (Beverage Hill/Newport Ave.) and Route 92 (Federal Hill/East Side). The detours will be in effect 8:30am – 2:00pm on Wednesday, April 27th, Thursday April 28th, Friday, April 29th, and Monday, May 2, 2011. The lighting in the tunnel will be upgraded during this period.

Further information about route detours can be found on RIPTA’s website.

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Downtown Circulator Project Underway

Phase 2 of the “Downtown Providence Traffic Circulation Improvements” have begun in earnest. This morning a lane was dropped on Weybosset Street, Mathewson Street is closed between Weybosset and Chapel (through June), and a worker was out with a giant machine cutting hacking away at the sidewalks.

You might be thinking, “Phase 2, did I miss Phase 1.” Well, you might of, I did. The Circulator Project (not to be confused with the Core Connector Study) is to make more Downtown streets two-way, to make traffic flow better and the city more predictable to navigate. Phase one was the conversion of Washington Street to two-way traffic and happened some time early in the last decade.

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