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State holds Kick-Off event for 6/10 Connector project

Gov. Raimondo at the 6/10 project kick-off event. Photo: RIDOT

RIDOT hosted a kick-off event for the 6/10 Connector project this morning. Press release from RIDOT:


Governor, Senators Reed and Whitehouse, and Providence Officials Join RIDOT to Kick Off Long-Awaited 6-10 Interchange Project

Governor Gina Raimondo today joined with U.S. Senator Jack Reed, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti to officially begin work on the 6-10 Interchange.

The 6-10 Interchange rebuild languished for 30 years. Today’s ceremony launched the $410 million project using a design-build approach that will save money and complete the project more quickly than anticipated. During the years of indecision and inaction on this vital highway link, its network of bridges deteriorated to the point where seven of nine bridges were classified as structurally deficient. Temporary supports were installed and millions of dollars spent in a series of repair projects necessary to keep the highway safe and open.

The project commencement ceremony was held at 1 Magnolia Street in Providence directly under the 6-10 Interchange. Other attendees included state senators and representatives, city council members, Federal Highway Administration officials, members of community groups, union representatives, and representatives of 6/10 Constructors, the design-build team composed of companies with deep Rhode Island and New England roots that will deliver the new 6-10 Interchange.

The contract to rebuild the 6-10 Interchange was awarded to joint venture group 6/10 Constructors based on the high score of their technical and financial proposals. The joint venture team led by Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. includes contractors O&G Industries, Inc., D.W. White Construction, Inc. and Aetna Bridge Company. The design team in the joint venture is led by AECOM with key design sub-consultants consisting of VHB, Commonwealth Engineers & Consultants, Inc., Crossman Engineering and McMahon Associates. The joint venture’s proposed cost for the design-build contract is $248 million.

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – January 17, 2018

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
January 17, 2018, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of December 2017 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Approval of 2018 Meeting Schedule (For Action)
  4. Update from Public Works staff on the Capital Improvement Program (For Discussion) — As part of the City’s Capital Improvement Program, the City of Providence Department of Public Works is in the process of quantitatively evaluating all streets and sidewalks throughout the city. This evaluation will serve as the basis of work planned for the 2018 construction season. Staff will update the Commission on the status of the evaluation and the outlook for work in the coming year.
  5. San Souci Drive Conceptual Review – Olneyville – Ward 15 (For Action) — The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development seeks comments from the BPAC regarding the Green Economy Bond funded project on San Souci Drive to create a bicycle and pedestrian path alongside the vehicular travel lane as part of the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. This will be a concept level review of the project. When advanced in the future, this project will come back to the BPAC for preliminary plan review.
  6. Huntington Avenue and Salvati Way Conceptual Review – West End – Ward 8 (For Action) — The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development seeks comments from the BPAC regarding a project on Huntington Avenue to create a bicycle and pedestrian path alongside the vehicular travel lanes. This will be a concept level review of the project. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the BPAC for preliminary plan review.
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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PBN: RIDOT awards $248M 6-10 Interchange rebuild contract to 6/10 Constructors

Video animation from RIDOT

The group had the lowest construction cost bid for the project at $248 million and the highest scoring technical proposal of any bid.

The 6/10 Constructor bid team includes New England companies, Barletta Heavy Division Inc., O&G Industries Inc., D.W. White Construction Inc. and Aetna Bridge Co.

The proposal was a design-build contract, which RIDOT says reduces the risk of cost overruns by creating a team that consists of both designer and contractor. The multi-faceted team is expected to decrease change orders and design errors.

[…]

RIDOT said that 20 percent of the project design has been completed already. The department expects the design to be ready in one year, with an expected construction completion in the fall of 2023.

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Providence City Plan Commission Meeting – December 19, 2017

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 – 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the November 14 2017 regular meeting – for action
  • Adoption of the 2018 meeting calendar
  • Director’s Report

Land Development Project – Pubic Informational Meeting

1. Case no. 17-020MA – 37-47 Elmwood Avenue (Master Plan) – Owner and Applicant: Blessing Ekperi – The applicant is seeking master plan approval for construction of a two story commercial building in the C-2 zone and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) overlay that will provide retail space, offices and a banquet facility in the basement. Associated parking and landscaping will be provided. The applicant is requesting an approximately five foot dimensional adjustment from the TOD overlay’s front yard setback for a portion of the building and an adjustment from the 60 percent build to percentage requirement.

The allowed maximum width of a building entrance is eight feet and the applicant is proposing entrances of approximately 14 feet, which requires a design waiver from the width of building entrances. The TOD overlay requires a minimum ground floor height of 14 feet. The applicant is requesting a waiver to provide 12 feet. A waiver from the 70 percent front façade transparency requirement is also requested. The applicant may request additional waivers at the meeting – for action (AP 30 Lots 267 and 570, West End)

Minor Subdivision

2. Case no. 17-051MI – 86 Lucille Street (Preliminary Plan) – Owner and Applicant: Deborah Pannone – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring 10,000 SF into two lots of 5,000 SF – for action (AP 81 Lot 481, Elmhurst)

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – July 19, 2017

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June 2017 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. “Olney Street Improvements” – College Hill, Mount Hope – Wards 2 and 3 (For Action) — The City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding preliminary design plans to restripe Olney Street to include bike lanes. In addition to normal BPAC discussion, this will serve as a public hearing regarding the potential removal of parking from portions of the street.
  4. “Harris Avenue Improvements” – Olneyville – Ward 15 (For Action) — The City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding preliminary design plans to restripe Harris Avenue to include a separated two-way bike lane. In addition to normal BPAC discussion, this will serve as a public hearing regarding the potential removal of parking from portions of the street.
  5. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  6. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – April 19, 2017

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
April 19, 2017, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of February 2017 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. “Woonasquatucket Greenway – Glenbridge Avenue Enhancements” – Hartford, Olneyville, Manton – Wards 6 and 7 (For Action) — The City of Providence Department of Public Works is in the process of preparing preliminary plans for improvements to Glenbridge Avenue between Hartford and Manton avenues. Prior to submission of the preliminary plans to the BPAC, the City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding the scope and nature of these potential improvements. This will be a concept level review of the project scope. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the BPAC for preliminary plan review.
  4. “Gano Gateway”– Fox Point – Ward 1 (For Action) – The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development seeks comments from the BPAC regarding the potential alternatives that have been developed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation for improving Gano Street between Trenton Street and Tockwotton Street. This will be a concept level review of the project. When advanced in the future, this project will come back to the BPAC for preliminary plan review.
  5. Announcement from the Chair (For Discussion)
  6. Nomination of a BPAC Vice-Chair (For Action)
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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2017 Providence Preservation Society Most Endangered Properties list

Humboldt Fire Station – Photo by Yvette Brunet for PPS

The Providence Preservation Society announced thier annual list of the city’s Most Endangered Properties this week.

  • Atlantic Mills, 100 Manton Avenue, Olneyville (1863)
  • Barstow Stove Company (known as Tops Electric Company), 120 Point Street, Jewelry District (c. 1849)
  • Bomes Theatre, 1017 Broad Street, Elmwood (1921)
  • Broad Street Synagogue, 688 Broad Street (1910-1911)
  • Cranston Street Armory, 310 Cranston Street, West End (1907)
  • Humboldt Fire Station, 155 Humboldt Avenue, Wayland (1906)
  • Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street, Downtown (1928)
  • Rhodes Street National Register District, Rhodes/Alphonso/Janes Streets, Upper South Providence, (1850s-1890s)
  • Sheffield Smith House, 334 Smith Street, Smith Hill (1855)
  • Former Sixth Precinct Police Station, 36 Chaffee Street, Olneyville (1890)
  • Welcome Arnold House, 21 Planet Street, College Hill (1785-1798)

For further information on each property, visit the Providence Preservation Society’s website.

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City announces free parking for local shopping for the holiday season, #ThinkPVD

think-pvd-elorza

Photo from the Mayor’s Office

From the Mayor’s Office:


Mayor Elorza Relaunches #ThinkPVD Campaign, Free Holiday Parking for Shoppers

Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined local businesses representatives and community members to relaunch Providence’s #ThinkPVD campaign encouraging residents and visitors to “think, shop, and buy locally” in the City this holiday season.

“This Saturday as we celebrate Small Business Saturday nationwide – I encourage you to take advantage of the amazing local shops and restaurants we have here in Providence,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “As you shop this holiday season and throughout the year, I ask that you support our business community by continuing to #ThinkPVD when making all of your purchases.” This is the second year of the #ThinkPVD campaign which aims to build upon the success of Small Business Saturday by promoting celebration and support of the local economy.

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RI Future: Spencer Grassie- Let’s reconnect Olneyville to the city’s urban fabric

olneyville-historic

As a current Providence College Friar and a native Rhode Islander, I am passionate about our state and capital city. As a millennial, I want to ensure that future generations have the building blocks necessary to thrive and make a living right here in the Ocean State. That is why the ProJo Editorial board’s piece, “Smart decision on bridges” is short sighted. The idea of turning the decrepit 6/10 Connector into a surface boulevard is about much more than safety.

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City of Providence 6-10 Connector Draft Plan Release – October 3, 2016

planning-6-10-meeting

From the Department of Planning & Development Facebook page:


Please join us on Monday, October 3 at 6:00pm at 444 Westminster Street to review our draft plan for a better 6-10 Connector. The 6-10 Connector is an aging highway that cuts through several Providence neighborhoods and is slated for immediate replacement. Similar to the I-195 relocation, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest wisely, reconnect neighborhoods, and improve our city.

Over 250 community members attended a City-led public workshop on August 30th.

At the workshop, community members were asked to help identify goals for the project and to begin brainstorming about ideas to improve the area surrounding the 6-10 Connector. Click here to view photos of the ideas that community members presented at the event. Click here to view the presentation that was given by City staff at the meeting.

More information on Facebook

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – September 21, 2016

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
September 21, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Approval of July Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. Olney Street Restriping – College Hill, Mount Hope – Wards 1 and 2 (For Action) – The Department of Public Works intends to restripe Olney Street from Camp to Hope streets. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans, which include bike lanes along this 0.4-mile stretch and the removal of a limited amount of underutilized on street parking on the northbound side of Olney Street between Camp and North Main streets, adjacent to the University Heights Apartment Complex.
  5. Olneyville Square Pedestrian Safety Improvements – Olneyville – Ward 15 (For Action) – ONE Neighborhood Builders is exploring the potential installation of curb extensions at the two existing RIPTA bus stops on Westminster Street in Olneyville Square and a raised pedestrian refuge at the intersection of Plainfield Street at Hartford Avenue. The City of Providence DPD seeks comment from the BPAC at this initial scoping phase of the project.
  6. Smith Street Repaving, Restriping, and Sidewalk Replacement – Smith Hill, Elmhurst – Wards 5 and 12 (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has prepared preliminary plans for Smith Street from Lyndhurst Avenue to Holden Street. Planned improvements include pavement resurfacing, replacement of existing sidewalk and curb, ADA improvements, minor improvements to the existing drainage system, modifications to the existing signals, upgrades to the existing pedestrian facilities, and the installation of new roadway signs and pavement markings. RIDOT also intends to remove existing street trees within the project limits that have caused severe sidewalk damage making sidewalks inaccessible to those who are in wheelchairs or disabled. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  7. Fountain Street Restriping Project Update – Downtown – Ward 1 (For Discussion)
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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ProJo: State to fast-track Route 6-10 connector project, abandon surface boulevard

ridot-6-10-original-design

RIDOT’s Original Design for the 6/10 interchange

Governor Raimondo has ordered a fast-track reconstruction of the Route 6 and 10 interchange and the abandonment of plans to rebuild the highway under an earthen cap, state officials said Wednesday.

The decision to rebuild the highways in their current footprint — and scrap a design favored by Department of Transportation leaders just this spring — was prompted by safety concerns and the deteriorating condition of the overpasses, said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr.

I.E. the public hates how we’re spending thier money, so let’s spend it faster.

Along with abandoning the capped highway plan, Raimondo’s move all but dismisses the possibility of replacing the highway with a surface boulevard, a design that drew overwhelming support from attendees of a public forum on the 6-10 held last week by the city of Providence.

[…]

Alviti said the disruption to commuters that a boulevard would create was unacceptable.

Translation, people in the suburbs are more important than people who live in the city next to the suburban infrastructure.

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Fix the 6-10: City Forum Highlights Need for New Ideas to Fix the 6-10

olneyville-historic

Press release from Fix the 6-10:


Last night, August 30, over 100 residents, community leaders, business owners, and transportation and planning experts gathered for a public forum at Asa Messer Elementary School on the West Side to discuss the future of the Rt. 6-10 Connector.

Workshop participants gave voice to the many values other than just moving cars that are important to Rhode Islanders: fiscal sustainability; improved safety for people driving, walking, biking, or taking the bus; creating new opportunities for economic development and low-income communities that live near the highway; open space and beauty and innovation and climate change.

Many participants suggested replacing the highway with a connected network of boulevards and streets more like Memorial Boulevard in Providence or Blackstone Boulevard, or the Parkways in Boston’s Emerald Necklace; which would greatly reduce long-term maintenance costs and improve connections between neighborhoods.

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New Coalition Advocating for Cost-Effective Rte. 6-10 Redesign

6-10-1950s

6/10 interchange in the late 1950s. Image from RIDOT.

Press Release from Fix the 6-10


Fix the 6-10 believes that it is urgent for Rhode Island to replace the 1950’s-style 6-10 Connector with infrastructure more appropriate for a 21st-century city, balancing the needs of people driving with creating economic opportunities, connecting neighborhoods, and improving our state’s fiscal health.

In response to recent efforts by the City and State to repair the failing 6-10 Connector, a new grassroots coalition, Fix the 6-10, has formed to advocate for a cost-effective, sustainable, equitable, and innovative replacement.

The Route 6-10 Connector is broken. Every day, thousands of people drive over structurally deficient bridges held up by wooden braces. Congestion plagues the off-ramps. It separates neighbors and blocks economic opportunity. It’s time to Fix the 6-10.

Recent estimates by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) have placed the cost of an expensive, heavily engineered hybrid tunnel-highway at nearly $595 million dollars, not counting a bus rapid transit line with stations, making it one of the most expensive highway interchanges in the world.

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6/10 Connector Public Workshop – August 30, 2016

route-6-10-label

From the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development:


My vision for the 6-10 Connector is…

Please join us on Tuesday, August 30th for a Public Workshop to discuss your ideas for the 6-10 Connector.

The City of Providence is launching a public process to bring community members and decision-makers together to craft a design proposal for the 6-10 Connector, a portion of state highway that runs through numerous Providence neighborhoods including Olneyville, West End, Federal Hill, Silver Lake, Hartford, Valley, and Smith Hill.

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