Mayor Hopkins Announces Start of Next Phase of Knightsville Revitalization Project

 Mayor Hopkins Announces Start of Next Phase of Knightsville Revitalization Project
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CRANSTON – Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins has announced that his administration is moving forward with “Phase 2” of the Knightsville Rehabilitation Project that has been a major focus of his first term in office.

In a letter to area residents sent last week, Hopkins outlined the scope and timing of the next portion of the project that will focus on the Knightsville corridor streetscape improvements.

“Phase 2 is an exciting focus and opportunity to invest in the infrastructure of Knightsville and its great people,” the mayor said.

Planned work will, in part, include new pavement, stamped concrete sidewalks, new street lighting, trees, and sitting benches. Hopkins said the work will also make the sidewalk areas ADA compliant for improved and safe pedestrian access.

“When complete, the area will come alive as a must visit destination with an economic corridor to be enjoyed by residents and visitors to our restaurants and businesses,” Hopkins said. “Our plans include sidewalk bump out areas to allow enhanced outside dining experiences to be enjoyed at Knightsville spectacular local restaurants.”

The scope of construction work for Phase 2 will include Cranston Street from Vervena Street north to the Randall Street intersection. It will also include part of Phenix Avenue starting at the end of Itri Park and then cross over to Park Avenue and continue easterly towards Southern Street.

Hopkins advised residents that work would begin the week of March 25, and foregoing major complications, it is scheduled to be complete by mid-December of this year.

On March 5, the Board of Contract and Purchase awarded a $3.2 million contract to the lowest qualified bidder Narragansett Improvement Company of Providence. Funds for this phase of the work will utilize approximately $2.5 million approved in the current year’s capital budget. Other funding for this second phase of the Knightsville Revitalization Project includes a $500,000 grant from the US HUD Community Project Funding (CPF) and $300,000 from the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank.

“This well-known Knightsville crossroads will come alive even more for residents and business owners,” the mayor continued. “While some people talk about economic development theories, we put shovels in the ground and make things happen for the community.”

Hopkins urged patience from area residents during the construction season saying, “We will work to minimize interruption and inconvenience for neighborhood residents, but the nature of the work will call for everyone’s understanding and cooperation.” He noted Cranston Police, and the contractor, will work together to minimize traffic issues.

Phase 1 of the rehabilitation project was the area dedicated as Itri Park that opened officially in July of 2023. The park is in the center of the Knightsville district and is a dedicated green space that has been enjoyed by many area residents as a gathering spot for neighbors and friends, reading, concerts, movie nights and street festivals.

Mayor Hopkins said he will include $2.8 million in his proposed capital budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1 for Phase 3 of the Knightsville Revitalization.  He explained that it will extend the streetscape improvements from Randal Street north towards Dyer Avenue. Work will extend these improvements past St. Mary’s Church.

“We have also received $ 1,950,000 from our congressional delegation to supplement our local support,” Hopkins said of Phase 3. “We will continue to seek additional grants for this work.”

Council member Chistopher Paplauskas (R-Ward 5) commended Mayor Hopkins, saying “No mayor has focused efforts on Knightsville like Mayor Hopkins. He is getting results for my ward and constituents.”

Council Minority Leader Nicole Renzulli (R-Citywide) stated, “As a resident of Knightsville, I know my neighbors and local business owners really appreciate the mayor’s effort to improve the area. Mayor Hopkins laid out a vision and is carrying through on his promises.”

The Cranston mayor concluded by saying this latest revitalization project is just one more concrete example of his commitment to local businesses as reflected in the work already completed in Rolfe Square and Pawtuxet Village.

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