RI Awarded $25 Million RAISE Grant for Henderson Bridge Phase 2: Multimodal Connections

 RI Awarded $25 Million RAISE Grant for Henderson Bridge Phase 2: Multimodal Connections
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PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today announced that it has unlocked another $25 million in federal funding for the Henderson Bridge and Expressway to better connect Providence and East Providence.


U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo today joined Governor Dan McKee in announcing $25 million for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to convert Henderson Parkway into a low-speed facility that includes non-motorized facilities; demolish an existing bridge, loop ramp, and approximately two traffic signals; construct a roundabout; construct approximately two miles of bike and pedestrian paths; and construct approximately two scenic overlooks on the Henderson Bridge over the Seekonk River.


The federal funding comes via the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Raise (RAISE) grant program.


“This federal funding will provide a big lift to the state’s plans to make multimodal travel easier, safer, and more efficient,” said Senator Reed,  a leading member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped first establish the competitive RAISE grant program back in 2009, when they were originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as TIGER grants before changing names to BUILD grants and now RAISE grants.  Senator Reed helped include $7.5 billion for the RAISE grant program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


“Our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a significant boost to the RAISE Grant Program, and continues to help prepare Rhode Island’s infrastructure for the twenty-first century,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the nation’s highway system.  “This latest round of federal funding will support ongoing efforts to make multimodal travel safer and more efficient, and help reduce carbon pollution in the transportation sector.”


“Thousands of Rhode Islanders rely on the Henderson Bridge to get to work and home, and this federal funding will improve the quality of life for working people and make it easier and safer to travel across the state,” said Congressman Magaziner.


“I am elated this federal investment will be made in the First Congressional District to continue the work on the Henderson Bridge — a key connection for communities on each bank of the Seekonk River,” said Congressman Amo. “As we continue to ensure that Rhode Islanders can cross between Providence and East Providence safely and reliably, as well as increase bike and pedestrian access, I thank my colleagues in the delegation for their partnership as we work to secure federal resources for our most pressing infrastructure needs.”


“Receiving this latest RAISE grant is an important step forward for the Henderson Bridge and Expressway project, and will make travel safer and more efficient for commuters in Rhode Island,” said Governor McKee. “Improving our roads and bridges is the key to our state’s economic success and job growth. I want to thank our Congressional Delegation for yet again delivering critical funding to help upgrade Rhode Island’s infrastructure.”


“We are so grateful to our delegation for this funding that will provide for a number of important enhancements to the Henderson Bridge project.  We will be creating new scenic overlooks, new connections to our bicycle and pedestrian network, constructing a new roundabout to make travel safer and creating new economic development opportunity for East Providence,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.


The $25 million RAISE grant will allow RIDOT to begin construction that would transform the freeway into a complete street with a lower design speed and a separate, shared-use path for non-motorized transit. Separated bike and pedestrian infrastructure would enhance connectivity to the East Bay Bike Path and the Blackstone River Bikeway, which serve thousands each year.


Additionally, RIDOT would decommission and demolish an aging and poorly conditioned ramp and install additional safety features to support multimodal users. Together, these improvements will connect neighborhoods while providing greater opportunity for economic development in surrounding areas, while giving residents more freedom to choose how they want to get around.


The total project cost is about $35 million according to RIDOT.


Congress made $1.5 billion in RAISE grant funding available this year for the U.S. Department of Transportation to award to competitive projects nationwide in 2023.  RAISE grants help communities across the country carry out projects “with significant local or regional impact.”


Last year, Rhode Island won a $25 million RAISE grant for the third phase of Route 37 work.


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