Governor Dan McKee, United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Rhode Island Federal Highway Administrator Carlos C. Machado and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr. today broke ground for the Airport Connector project in Warwick, one of the major paving projects scheduled for this year.
This project combines the best of both worlds, improved paving and safety with a massive landscaping project that will provide more than 400 plants and trees in both the median and the shoulder. The landscaping is designed to blend seamlessly with similar plantings around Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport to create a visually appealing gateway.
“For thousands of visitors to Rhode Island, the Airport Connector is Rhode Island’s welcome mat,” Governor McKee said. “These improvements will make vital safety improvements while providing a great first impression of our great state.”
The $12.9 million Airport Connector and Post Road resurfacing project is one of the first major resurfacing projects as part of RIDOT’s commitment to paving statewide. This year, RIDOT will spend $92 million on paving projects and $492 million over the next five years. This project will replace paving on four miles of road and put in new guide signs along the Airport Connector and I-95.
“Visitors and residents alike rely on RIDOT to help get them where they need to go, and I’m pleased to direct federal funding to the state to accelerate and advance key infrastructure upgrades like this. The Airport Connector is a critical access point and these improvements will ensure a safer, smoother ride for everyone getting to and from the airport,” said Senator Reed.
“Combined with other federally funded projects at T.F. Green, the modernized Airport Connector will improve the overall experience of flying out of PVD for locals and tourists alike,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Many more job-creating upgrades to Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, and airports are on the way thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill we passed in Washington.”
“This crucial project will improve safety for drivers while also supporting landscaping to create a beautiful gateway for the thousands of Rhode Islanders and visitors who travel along the Airport Connector every day,” said Congressman Langevin. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act continues to deliver for Rhode Island, providing millions of dollars in federal funds to repair our roadways and improve the driving experience for all Rhode Islanders.”
“Rhode Islanders have seen the transformation in our roads and bridges, and thanks to the new federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, we will be kicking our paving program into high gear and providing the type of safe, smooth roadways Rhode Islanders and all visitors to Rhode Island expect and deserve,” Director Alviti said.
The new road surface will give travelers a safer riding surface on the 1-mile Airport Connector and 3 miles of Route 1 and Route 1A (Post Road), from Coronado Road to Warwick Avenue. In addition to new pavement, the project design eliminates hazardous drop-offs and includes new high visibility pavement markers. It also improves pedestrian access conditions along Post Road with new sidewalks and pedestrian ramps.
On the I-95 southbound ramp, the project will replace the median guardrail and install a grass swale. The plantings will be placed in the median and along the grass shoulder.
The Airport Connector carries 20,000 vehicles daily. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2023.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The Airport Connector Project is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s commitment to bring Rhode Island’s infrastructure into a state of good repair while respecting the environment and striving to improve it.