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RIDOT: Rhode Island’s Transit Future

One of the most crucial components of a healthy economy and quality of place is a sound transportation system: one that supports diverse modes of travel and seamlessly connects Rhode Island to the rest of the world – and Rhode Islanders, more meaningfully to each other and to opportunity.

Since I’m a big geek I watch videos like this and visit websites extolling the virtues of various transit systems around the world and I think to my self, ‘our system really sucks.’

Then I see a shiny video showcasing our system and I wonder if all those other cities just have really good videographers hiding the suckitude of their systems.

I think it is half and half; half our system sucks compared to others, and half other systems suck too but are good at publicity. Look at how the Interlink is described in that video, it sounds good, but it is not really there yet. There are a number of factors why, there’s really no there there at Warwick Station, it is not really a destination other than the airport (regardless of what this video is trying to sell us about the area). Rhode Islanders really still love their cars. There’s a chicken and egg about not enough riders so not enough service and not enough service so not enough riders, etc.

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PBN: Free parking has done little to spur commuter-rail use

Until more people need to get to Providence, [Wickford Junction garage operator Robert] Cioe said, those who do go will be able to drive in and find parking at rates that make it difficult for “park-and-ride” from the suburbs to compete.

Johnson & Wales University is preparing to open a 700-space parking garage downtown, the state is expanding a surface lot near the capitol while adding another, Brown University’s plans for redeveloping the South Street Power Station include a city-financed, 600-space parking garage and the Interstate 195 Commission wants the state to build a new parking garage next to the Garrahy Judicial Complex.

We don’t have enough parking but we have too much parking?

William Lawrence, a transportation consultant in South Kingstown who used to manage real estate for the MBTA, said there are currently a number of barriers standing in the way of commuter-rail ridership to Providence, in addition to the economy.

They include the inconvenience of getting from the Providence train station to many offices and the comparatively cheap cost of parking in or taking a bus into the city.

If we expect people to leave their cars at home, or at a park n’ ride, we need to make moving about the core better. We can’t put people on trains, let them off, and say, ‘good luck!’

10

USDOT issues Rhode Island more discretionary grants

Interlink

Interlink in Warwick

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.

Via: Transportation Nation

0

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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What Cheer/What Jeer 2010

What Cheer/What Jeer was originally supposed to be a monthly, or a quarterly thing, but you know what, it is a lot of work putting a list like this together, so it has become an annual thing. So join us as we take a look back at 2010, What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.

whatcheerProvidence River Pedestrian Bridge

Whether you love it or hate it, Providence will soon be getting a new pedestrian bridge over the Providence River. Design firms large and small from around the world entered the competition that led to the winning design. And the competition got people around the city interested in transportation and design.

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge

whatcheerRIPTA

Last year we declared that 2010 would be “The Year of RIPTA” and not to be too smug about it but, we were kinda right.

In December 2009 RIPTA and the City of Providence released the Metro Transit Study, which drew a lot of attention to its proposal to run a streetcar line through Providence. This year, RIPTA embarked on their Core Connector Study, the first step toward bringing streetcars back to Providence. In June, U.S. Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood visited Providence and was very excited about our future plans. RIPTA also took delivery of a new fleet of hybrid buses and trolleys in October. This year also saw RIPTA unveil a 5-year plan for the future of transit in Rhode Island. Finally, RIPTA hired a new CEO, Charles Odimgbe. It is early days yet in Mr. Odimgbe’s tenure, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be What Cheered or What Jeered next year.

Certainly all was not good for RIPTA this year, 2010 saw the continuation of an annual tradition wherein RIPTA’s budget falls short resulting in the agency looking to cut routes and/or increase fares. This year they went with increasing fares yet again. Here’s hoping the incoming Governor and General Assembly can work to address the issues surrounding RIPTA’s budget.

whatcheerElection 2010

What an exciting year that was. New Mayor, new Governor, new Congressman from Providence (even if he is a freshman and in the minority party, that’s good for us!), many new City Councilors, Shoveitgate, The Uncaucas, Chris Young… Let’s do that again real soon (well, not too soon).

whatcheerThe Interlink & MBTA to Warwick

October saw the opening of the long awaited Interlink. The skybridge connects T.F. Green Airport to a parking garage, rental car facilities, and a train station via a skybridge with moving sidewalks over Post Road. The Interlink opening was followed in December by the extension of MBTA Commuter Rail service from Providence to the station at the Interlink facility. Next year that service will be expanded and will go further south to a new station currently under construction at Wickford Junction.

Interlink

whatcheerThe Box Office

The Box Office was completed this year. The building, made out of shipping containers brought national attention to Providence within the construction and design communities for its innovative design. Developers from near and far want to replicate the building in their communities.

whatcheerThe Arts

We What Cheered the arts last year, and we’re What Cheering them again this year. Woonsocket’s Riverzedge and Providence’s Community Music Works each took home one of fifteen 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (after Providence’s New Urban Arts won the same award last year (go Rhody!)). AS220 celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year, commissioned RISD alum Shepard Fairy to create a mural on Aborn Street, and is wrapping up renovation on its third Downcity Building, The Mercantile Block. And basically, art in Providence just continued to be pretty damn awesome. Buy Art!

Last year, we weren’t really in the mood to What Jeer, we had jeered enough I guess. But this year, oh, here go hell come, are you ready? Let’s do it.

whatjeerRIDOT

RIDOT, seriously, you’re killing us here. While we’ve said it time and again, we really like what Director Michael Lewis has to say about not being able to build more highways to end congestion and needing to be multi-modal and what not… the Director’s words have not been matching the agency’s actions.

From the craptacular original design of the Wickenden Street intersection related to the 195 Relocation, to the ridiculous placement of signs on the sidewalk on the Friendship Street bridge, to the utter disregard for any mode other than automobiles in the planning of the new Union Avenue Bridge, and more, RIDOT has proven that they have a long way to go in understanding how to build infrastructure in an urban environment and serve a multi-modal population.

Governor-elect Chafee has decided to keep Director Lewis on at RIDOT, a decision we agree with. Let’s hope that the Director can make the agency’s actions match his own and the Governor’s visions for how our transportation system should look. We’re hoping next year we might be able to What Cheer RIDOT.

whatjeerThe Arcade/35 Weybosset

Though these are separate properties, they are linked in the public consciousness and the destiny of each may best be served by thinking of them together. The What Jeer here is pretty obvious, the Arcade still sits empty and the facade at 35 Weybosset Street remains neglected.

The neglect of the 35 Weybosset facade is the clearest example available of a developer attempting a demolition by neglect, and he is beginning to get a lot of support for that option, though we clearly think there is a better way.

As for the Arcade, we might have to agree with one of our commenters that the best course of action is eminent domain.

whatjeerGrove Street School

Seeing as the Grove Street School’s current owner, Michael Tarro won election to the General Assembly, the school’s future seems more tenuous than ever.

Grove Street School

The good news is, the new City Councilor for Ward 13, Bryan Principe is an ardent supporter of the building. Let’s hope Bryan and the new Mayor can work on an arrangement with Mr. Tarro on the building’s future.

whatjeerCVS

While in the end, CVS agreed to some minor concessions on their initial proposal for a CVS in Edgewood, they’re still basically dropping a box from the sky into the middle of a parking lot. We still don’t know why CVS hates Rhode Island.

whatjeerUnion Wadding Mill Fire

Did they ever catch the bastard who did this? There’s a $10,000 reward you know.

Photo from Pawtucket Foundation Facebook Page

whatjeerParkinglotification

Last year we What Cheered the Smith-Mathewson Building proposed for where the Downcity Diner used to be. This year it is a parking lot. Sigh.

whatjeerAtwells Avenue

As if enduring 14 months of construction at the intersection with Dean Street wasn’t bad enough, at the other end of the Avenue we had a girl who works at a Salon and a City Councilor run down by errant drivers within weeks of each other. We all know which one got the most attention from the media, including us.

After years of people getting hit on Atwells, to the point where those of us who live up there see it as part of life, the hit and run of Councilman Hassett did serve to jolt us all out of our malaise on the topic. After years of inaction we now have some repainted crosswalks, more signs, and a speed bump at the western end of the Avenue (where most of the pedestrians have been struck). Much more needs to be done to improve the safety situation not just on Atwells, but on roads throughout the city.

Let us not fall back into our malaise where we accept people being struck by cars as an inevitable part of city life, it is not. Let us make sure that we follow through on the outrage that followed the Councilman’s injuries and act to do all we can to ensure that it does not happen again.


We could probably go on, but let’s wrap up the What Cheering and What Jeering there. Feel free to add you own in the comments.

Thank you to everyone who reads and contributes to Greater City: Providence. It was a great year discussing the city we all love.

Happy New Year!

4

Ride on the Interlink

Yesterday I decided to return my rental car early to the airport, rather than today to Dorrance Street (glad I did). So after dropping off the car, I took a ride on the Interlink:

Interlink

Interlink

The rental car area is like an airport check in. It looks quite nice actually.

Interlink

Interlink

Interlink

I actually walked most of the way, but some people took the moving sidewalks as an opportunity to relax (and enjoy the view?).

Interlink

Interlink

Interlink

Interlink

I thought it was nice and shiny and clean, and importantly yesterday, warm.

2

For realz this time. Commuter rail to T.F. Green Dec. 6


Photo (cc) Mr. Ducke

It is not a trick, RIDOT issued a press release and everything. Commuter Rail service to T.F. Green starts on December 6th.

Trains will depart from T.F. Green, inbound to Providence/South Station, at the following times:

  • 6:13 a.m.; 6:52 a.m.; 7:15 a.m. – To Providence and South Station
  • 6:27 p.m.; 7:36 p.m.; 7:51 p.m. – To Providence only, change train at 8:12 p.m. to continue to South Station

Trains will arrive at T.F. Green, outbound from Providence/South Station, at the following times:

  • 6:01 a.m.; 6:25 a.m. – Arriving from Providence only
  • 6:17 p.m.; 6:53 p.m.; 7:26 p.m. – Arriving from South Station and Providence

The one-way fare between Providence and the airport it only $0.25 more than it costs to take the bus.

Ticket fares will vary by distance traveled. Travel between T.F. Green and Providence constitutes travel in two zones and costs $2.25 each way. Travel between T.F. Green and Boston costs $8.25 each way. Seniors and persons with disabilities get 50 percent off. Children age 11 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Monthly passes for unlimited travel between Providence and T.F. Green cost $77. Monthly passes for unlimited travel between T.F. Green and Boston cost $265, which also includes travel on all MBTA buses and subways and the Inner Harbor Ferry.

Schedule information can be found on the MBTA website. Fare information can be found at here.

7

…It says it does, but it really doesn’t


Photo (cc) Eric Kilby

So, I’ve been hearing from all around town that MBTA service to T.F. Green starts on Monday. There is even a schedule [.pdf] posted on the MBTA website. So I posted about it.

Then PBN posted about it. Then I got an email from Ted Nesi. Ted tells me that the Governor’s spokeperson said, “no.” Service is not starting on Monday.

Then I email RIDOT for a statement and got this response from Charles St. Martin:

While the entire schedule (for all stops from Providence to Boston) goes into effect on Nov. 22, the service to and from the Airport is not starting on Monday.

So that sounds weird, but what it basically means, is that the new MBTA schedule is out, they change from time to time just as RIPTA’s do, and while the T.F. Green run is listed on this new schedule, the service will not actually start on Monday.

This is all well and good, and I understand that, but check out the schedule the MBTA has posted. All I see is this:

Notes: This schedule is effective from November 22, 2010 and replaces the schedule of January 11, 2010.

And the schedule lists service running to/from T.F. Green. No disclaimer anywhere about that service not being active yet. No asterisk, no notation, no thought-bubble. So you can see the confusion.

I’ve heard from a number of people who were under the impression that the trains were running Monday. I wonder how many people will be on the platform at 6:13am Monday morning waiting for a train.

I did also ask Mr. St. Martin if there was any update on when service actually will start and it is still set to start, “sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Update:

The MBTA just updated the Providence line page.

4

Commuter Rail service to T.F. Green starts…


Image from RIDOT

No train service Monday, it was all in our imagination, and in a .pdf schedule released by the T. See all the details on the drama here.

It is not the perfect schedule by far, but it is a start. Trains will begin running to the new station at T.F. Green on Monday.

Weekday only service is scheduled as follows:

T.F. Green to Providence and South Station
T.F. Green Providence South Station
6:13am 6:33am 7:45am
6:52am 7:12am 8:16am
7:15am 7:35am 8:51am
6:27pm 6:42pm N/A
7:36pm 7:51pm N/A
7:51pm 8:06pm N/A


South Station and Providence to T.F. Green
South Station Providence T.F. Green
N/A 5:41am 6:01am
N/A 6:00am 6:25am
5:00pm 6:06pm 6:17pm
5:40pm 6:42pm 6:53pm
6:10pm 7:11pm 7:26pm



As expected, these hours are largely beneficial for a commuter from the Warwick/South County area to Boston. There are also reverse commuting options from Providence to the airport. I believe those are partially intended to allow airport workers to reverse commute down to the airport and may serve some utility for passengers grabbing shuttle flights in the early morning.

But I suspect looking at this schedule most will complain about the cost of the station for such a meager offering of service. All that can be said is this is preliminary service; service will expand when the Wickford Junction Station opens late next year.

Download the full Providence Line schedule as effective Nov. 22nd at MBTA [.pdf].

4

News & Notes

SFGate: Footbridge an elegant new icon in East Bay

The 600-foot-long arc not only eases the way for pedestrians and bicyclists, it also sends a message naysayers choose to ignore: our society should aim to produce civic works on par with cherished landmarks from the New Deal or the Carnegie libraries of the generation before that.

This larger cultural role is what civic infrastructure can achieve when built with ambition and the long-term view. Contra Costa’s Redevelopment Agency deserves credit for pulling together the funding from county, state and federal sources.

The word “icon” is used far too often in architectural hype. But at its own modest scale, Robert I. Schroder Overcrossing shows what an icon can be. You don’t expect to see it; once you do, you’re glad it’s there. And you look forward to seeing and experiencing it again.


American Planning Association: 10 Best Public Spaces of 2010

Maybe someday Kennedy Plaza will make the list.


The Gondola Project at Creative Urban Projects: Rio to Open Urban Gondola System This Year

Peter Brassard touched upon aerial trams, or gondollas, in his recent post and here is another urban system to add to the list in Brazil. As Rio prepares to host the Olympics in 2016(?) this is one of the infrastructure projects they have been working on.

In this article I even learned a new term, CPT meaning Cable Propelled Transit system. Add that to the lexicon of BRT, LRT, TOD, and other transit acronyms.


Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: Public Space Project and Shared Space-Harvard Square-Woonerf Streets

But in Europe, designers are taking it a step further – removing traffic signals and signage altogether, relying on the human ability to adapt and communicate with other drivers and pedestrians by entering an intersection or traveling down a street and figuring it all out. It’s a counter-intuitive notion to be sure, based in the Dutch concept of the “woonerf,” a street that eliminates the strict separation of uses and instead invites a civil set of ad-hoc rules and eye contact. Woonerfs are all around us – the valet area in front of a hotel, or the parking lot in front of Target. Everybody slows down because there is an obvious mix of parking and getting out of cars and moving around on foot.

I mention woonerfs here from time to time and at some point really should devote an entire post to the concept, but until I get around to it, this post is a really good introduction to the concept.

A woonerf plaza outside City Hall is included in the Vision For Kennedy Plaza and I often walk down the alley I live on on Federal Hill and imagine it transformed into a shared space. Let’s try to introduce “woonerf” into the Providence lexicon.


Market Urbanism “Urbanism for Capitalists/Capitalism for Urbanists”: The inanity of airport connectors

The airport connector is a special beast of a rail-based transit system that’s a relatively recent phenomenon outside of transit-dense regions like Western Europe and Japan. So manifestly wasteful that it generates more animosity towards mass transit than it does riders, it’s a project that only politicians and unions could love. Unlike more integrated networks where the airport is just one station on an otherwise viable route (like Philadelphia’s Airport Line or DC’s proposed Silver Line), airport connectors generally serve only the airport and one local hub. With no purpose other than to get people in and out of the airport, they provide neither ancillary transit benefits nor TOD opportunities. Oftentimes they don’t even reach downtown, acting instead like glorified park-and-rides.

Luckily our connector is one stop on a line that runs from Boston and eventually past the airport onto Wickford Junction and maybe Westerly, New London, who knows… It is one of the good ones…

[…] with the Rhode Island DOT recently reaching a deal on its $267 million “Interlink” project, which entails building a station at the airport on an existing line, along with a commuter parking garage and a rental car facility. The station is only expected to see six trains a day initially, which is probably for the best since Providence’s T.F. Green Airport isn’t exactly O’Hare. No word on whether any additional density is being allowed around the new station, but something tells me the answer is no.

Sigh. The City of Warwick established the Warwick Station Redevelopment Agency years ago to guide development in the “Metro Center” area around the station. RIPTA is keen on transforming bus services in Kent County to focus transportation on the new station, making it a transit hub not just for air and rail, but for buses, further fueling the transit oriented development potential of the station area.

Yup, T.F. Green is not O’Hare, for that matter neither is Logan or BWI or LaGuardia or JFK or LAX. 6 trains a day, initially, yes. But once Wickford Junction opens next year, that number goes up. The Interlink is not about getting people to and from planes full stop, it is much more than that. It is a commuter link for Kent County and South County, it is an economic development tool for the City of Warwick and the airport.

Kevin Dillon, President and CEO of RIAC pointed out in rebutting Joe Paolino’s characterization of the Interlink as a “boondoggle” on GoLocalProv that low cost European carriers are looking at the northeast and at T.F. Green in particular. Why Green and not Bradley or Manchester? Because of the Interlink.

[airport connectors] are often a sort of cargo cult urbanism that seeks to emulate the frills of good transit systems isn’t willing to make the hard decisions necessary to actually build a robust network and allow the density to fill it. In the case of the the Providence airport, lawmakers said they hoped the station would attract international service to the currently domestic-only airport – as if Providence can acquire the amenities of a big city without allowing itself to become one.

There will undoubtedly be some NIMBY hurdles to overcome regarding density along the rail line, especially if we add a station in Cranston (can you imagine, denisty in Cranston!?), but the whole point of the southern push of commuter rail is to build density where it makes sense, along the transit line, and to aid people who live further from it in leaving their cars somewhere other than downtown (or idling on the highway getting to downtown).

The line about Providence trying to attract big city amenities without actually allowing itself to become a big city… that I just don’t get. Again, there will always be NIMBYism surrounding growth, but I think political leaders, the business community, and a good deal of the citizenry would be more than happy to see the city become bigger. At the very least, if we grew it would be indicative of our economy emerging from the toilet.

3

InterLink to open October 27th

InterLink Map
Click Image to Enlarge

(September 20, 2010) – The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) is pleased to announce Wednesday, October 27, 2010 as the opening day of the InterLink, the region’s new transportation hub. At this time, rental car companies will be fully operational in the garage. The customer service building will also be open along with the Skywalk connecting to the airport terminal. Intercity bus services will be stopping at the Interlink via Jefferson Boulevard.

“RIAC, working together with project partners RIDOT, FHWA, and the rental car operators want to ensure travelers a first-class customer experience,” said Kevin A. Dillon, President & CEO of RIAC. “We look forward to the October 27th opening of the InterLink and expect the much anticipated train service to commence soon thereafter.”

The InterLink Project Team is comprised of Rhode Island based Construction Manager Gilbane Building Company, Designer of Record Jacobs Engineering Company and Project Manager PB Americas. Gilbane will have the facility completed within the original contract timeframe; by the end of September. From there, the rental car companies will finish their fit out and detail work.

Dillon added, “I would like to commend the team of Gilbane, Jacobs and PB. They have been thorough in their work on the InterLink while remaining within the project budget and mindful of project schedule considerations and day-to-day airport operations.”

To prepare for the move, there are public education efforts underway to assist the public with the new path of travel. Highway, roadway and building signage will be modified and new signage will also be added. The pvdairport.com Web site will be expanded to include a section devoted to the InterLink.

On the evening of Tuesday, October 26th after the final flight arrives at T. F. Green Airport, the rental car operators will close their counters at the terminal. Beginning the morning of October 27th all travelers returning vehicles or picking up vehicles will do so at the InterLink.

It is important for travelers to note that the InterLink is located at 700 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI. The recommended path of travel is Interstate 95 to Exit 13, to the Jefferson Boulevard exit. At the end of the Jefferson Boulevard exit ramp, turn left onto Jefferson Boulevard and the entrance to the InterLink parking garage will be .3 of a mile on the right.

To learn more, visit pvdairport.com.

1

RIDOT announces preliminary Warwick rail schedule


Photo © RIDOT

With train service to the InterLink (aka the Intermodal Station) at T.F. Green Airport in October, RIDOT is busy planning the routes for the service. Good news, the schedule will include reverse commuting options.

Reverse commuting means trains running in the opposite direction of the typical peak direction, in the morning for example, the peak direction would be northbound toward Providence and Boston. The concern had been by some that people would not be able to commute to Warwick and the airport from Providence in the morning, stifling future development around the station, and preventing people from being able to access morning flights via the train.

The schedule tentatively includes 3 trains leaving Warwick in the morning heading north to Providence and onto Boston with 2 trains running from Providence to Warwick. In the evening, 3 trains from Boston will pass through Providence and continue to T.F. Green, and 2 or 3 trains will run from Warwick and terminate in Providence.

A full schedule with specific times is still being worked on.

RIDOT also continues negotiations with Amtrak to bring have their trains stop at the new station.

In other Rhode Island Commuter Rail news, a groundbreaking for the proposed station at Wickford Junction is scheduled for this Wednesday. The station at Wickford Junction is scheduled to open in 2011.

Of course with the addition of Wickford Junction service, RIDOT and the MBTA will have to revisit commuter rail schedules, hopefully further expanding service to T.F. Green at that point.

Related:
Airport’s station to get new routes [ProJo]

1

June InterLink Update

The Intermodal Facility is 85% complete and on schedule for opening in Fall 2010. The project has officially been renamed the InterLink, a name demonstrative of its multi-modal connectivity. Students attending Rhode Island Colleges and Universities with concentrations in business, marketing and/or communications were invited to assist in branding the facility by submitting names and taglines for consideration.

The winning proposal was submitted by Bryant University seniors Justin Andrews. Jameson (Jack) Antonowicz, Jacquelyn Parr, Pat Sargent and Brittany Beckerman with help from Mara Chapin and Hillary Smith. The students are all marketing majors under the instruction of Professor Jean Murray. The final name, tagline and logo was a collaborative effort of RIAC working in conjunction with their agency of record, RDW Group. (Name, logo and tag are visible above.)

An aerial view of the InterLink spanning Post Road. The airport terminal is visible to the left.

Terminal End Improvements (TEI)

At the terminal end, drywall installation on ceilings and walls is complete. Painting and finish work is now underway. The elevator install is complete and awaiting final inspection. Framework is being installed under the escalators. The two moving walkways in the TEI are nearing completion.Metal panel and light fixture installation is complete for the TEI ceiling. Metal parapet framing and sun shades have been set in place along the exterior of the curtain wall glass.

Skywalk

Moving walkway work continues with the addition of chains, glass outer rails and rubber handrails at various points in the Skywalk. Lighting fixtures are complete. Framing for smoke doors is complete. Work on fire alarms, communication wiring and lighting control systems are all ongoing. Another milestone has been reached- the stretch fabric ceiling installation is underway. The fabric is heated by a propane powered unit and stretched into place. Once the fabric has reached a certain elasticity the installed can wedge the sides into the already installed frame.

The process of heating, stretching and forming the fabric ceiling panels.

A view of the train tracks with the anti-projectile screen visible above.


Customer Service Operations Building (CSO)

Exterior door and hardware installation are complete. Painting is underway as well as installation of lighting fixtures. All testing and programming for cooling tower and other control systems have been continuing. For tenant work, application of prime paint on finished drywall is finished. Metal panels are being installed simultaneously to rough-in for overhead systems. Major accessories in the toilet room have been installed and toilet partitions are to being placed next month. Glass doors between the CSO and garage connector bridge have been installed. Site work at the north side of CSO has started. Once the office trailers are removed from the site, the roadway, sidewalks and curb can be constructed.

A view of the parking garage from the Jefferson Blvd.


Garage

Granite curbing and concrete sidewalk are being installed on Jefferson Boulevard and other locations surrounding garage. Detail work is on going throughout the garage. Lights were installed at the south ramp entrance canopy meaning the majority of permanent light is up and running inside the garage. Elevators are at various stages of completion. Concrete slabs have been poured for stairs. Escalators are in the process of being assembled. An anti-projectile screen has been installed facing the train tracks. Work on the parking revenue equipment has begun. Installation of fire alarms and lighting controls continue throughout the garage. Fueling tanks and windshield washer fluid tanks are installed. Fit out for fueling islands and carwash equipment in reclamation room has been on going. Installation of the fueling system at the platforms continues. Rental car quick turn around office construction is well underway in the garage.

RIAC

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T.F. Green Intermodal Facility, June Update

It isn’t posted on the Airport website yet, but here is the June update on the Intermodal Facility at T.F. Green:

Photos from RIAC:

Skybridge night work over Post Road.

A view of the Skywalk construction.

Work at the TEI site.

A view from the inside of the Skywalk, looking toward Post Road.

Installation of paneling and sheathing at the CSO building.

Pre-cast installation continues at the Garage site.

Intermodal Overview
The Intermodal Project is a collaborative effort of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, working in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration. The $267 million transportation hub will allow MBTA commuter rail service to T.F. Green airport and Warwick, RI. This will be the closest rail line (1,570 feet) to a major airport terminal in the country.

The project is broken into four major areas of construction – the Terminal End Improvements (TEI); the Skywalk; the customer service operations building (CSO) and the parking garage and fueling platforms. These four major components of the Intermodal project are being built concurrently.

The project continues to move forward at a steady pace with the Skywalk structure crossing over Post Road. Next steps for construction include the connection of the Skywalk to the CSO structure sometime in July. There are no plans for additional road closures in the near future, however there may be some night work and therefore lane restrictions near the Airport’s departure and commercial roadways.

Terminal End Improvements (TEI)
TEI steel is 100% complete. Fireproofing is complete except for column work and intumesce white paint that will cover the spray fireproofing. Storm drains and safety divots are being installed. Demolition of existing masonry block took place during the last week of June on the 1st and 2nd floors of the terminal.

Skywalk
Overnight work on the Skywalk took place in mid-June. The Skywalk steel erection has crossed Post Road and steelwork is now more than 50% complete. Detailing work continues including installing hangers and conduits above and between piers. Temporary scaffolding has been built for workers to more easily access the skywalk. The permanent stair tower, at what is known as the “knuckle,” has been constructed and allows for emergency egress only.

Work to install parapet walls on the Skywalk roof began this month. The placement of plywood, densglass and Styrofoam will follow.

CSO
Exterior building envelope work is taking place with installation of metal panels, sheathing, and insulation panels. Installation of interior metal panels has begun at the first floor level.

Major mechanical work including installation of the sewer line, storm drains, sanitary sections and cooling tower pipes are all complete. Installation of the CSO roof is schedule to start in mid July.

Installation of the sprinkler system is near complete. Storm drains are now finished.

Garage and Fueling Platform
Approximately 1,130 of the 3,400 pieces of pre-cast concrete for the garage and fueling platform have been placed. Detailing of precast concrete sections is ongoing with welding connections and caulking joints. Installation of the car wash reclamation tank is finished and drains and system connections have been placed. Reinforcing steel is ready for precast concrete curb to be placed on all floors of the facility.

Backfilling of precast columns is nearly finished. Excavation for underground drainage at the fueling platform has been finished and installation of sewer and other drainage has started.

The cast-in-place foundations for stair and elevator towers are being poured. The precast concrete erection continues from the north end moving toward the south.

All pile cap footings are complete. Concrete ramp walls, shear walls, and the garage parameter walls are ongoing. Back filling of perimeter walls continues. The north ramp foundations in the east garage have been poured. The southern ramp is scheduled to be poured in late June.

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