SMITHFIELD, RI – Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr. and Smithfield Town Manager Randy Rossi gathered today in Smithfield to mark the start of the first project in the state to utilize the Governor’s RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program.
Under the Governor’s program, Smithfield will receive $433,161 to support 17 projects across 14 miles of road, including Limerock Road and Ridge Road which haven’t been paved in nearly 20 years. As required by the program, Smithfield will be making a $879,463 funding match to bring the total investment to $1.3 million.
The RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program, passed by the General Assembly as part of Governor McKee’s FY24 budget, makes $20 million in matching funds available to support important road, bridge, and sidewalk projects on locally maintained city and town roads. Governor McKee, a former mayor, designed the program to help local communities who often struggle to set aside enough capital improvement funds in their budgets to maintain their transportation infrastructure. With the matching funds from local communities, the program is expected to leverage nearly $60 million to support road and bridge repairs across the state.
“Congratulations to the Town of Smithfield for being the first community in the state to start work on an RI Ready Municipal Road Program project, Governor Dan McKee said. “We’re ready to fix Rhode Island’s roads and bridges and finally improve our state’s infrastructure rankings – and with our municipal leaders on board, this is the team that’s going to get it done.”
Since the program launched in August, all 39 of Rhode Island’s cities and towns have submitted project applications and $56.5 million worth of projects have been approved, this includes $16.5 million of state funds.
“The Town of Smithfield would like to thank the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly and the RIDOT for all of their support in getting the RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program implemented. We look forward to continuing this strong partnership while we complete the necessary road and sidewalk projects within our community,” Town Manager Rossi said.
“We are proud to administer this program through RIDOT,” Director Alviti said. “As of today – every single one of our 39 cities and towns has applied. Eighty percent of the roads in Rhode Island are maintained by our cities and towns. These are the roads that take us home, to school, to our local stores, to our kids’ games, to church and to mom’s house. They deserve the best of care and this program starts to make that possible.”
About 80 percent of all the miles of roads in Rhode Island – about 5,000 miles – are maintained by cities and towns. RIDOT maintains the balance, with approximately 1,100 miles of state roads under its jurisdiction.
“This partnership with cities and towns is going to have a huge impact on residents across the state,” said Ernie Almonte, Executive Director of the RI League of Cities and Towns. “Our communities often lack the resources needed to improve roadways in their communities, many of which are critical to local businesses, first responders, and our schools. We thank Governor McKee for prioritizing investment in the Municipal Road Fund.”
Of the $20 million available in the fund, $5 million is being divided equally among each city and town ($128,205). The remaining $15 million is being distributed proportionally to municipalities based on the miles of roads maintained by each community. Cities and towns with more roads will be able to seek more funding.
The grant program will contain accountability measures, including a quarterly reporting requirement. Municipalities using the grant funds will report on each project’s progress, contract award dates, contract values and anticipated completion dates. All projects must be completed by the end of 2026.