The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it has been chosen to receive $312,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as one of 35 participants in Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Climate Challenge Initiative.
The Climate Challenge Initiative provides funding, training, and technical assistance to help state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other public sector stakeholders explore the use of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). RIDOT won the funds for its proposal to use permeable pavement on North Road in Jamestown. Research has shown that using permeable pavement on road surfaces that flood frequently, like North Road, may disperse the water more quickly and limit flooding in the adjacent community.
The project will resurface a 2,000-foot section of the road with permeable pavement. The project area crosses Great Creek, a tidal marsh which often overtops North Road rendering a key north-south route on the island impassable to most vehicles for a quarter-mile stretch. The project will demonstrate the viability of using permeable pavement as a way to mitigate the impacts of coastal flooding on low-lying roads.
The pilot project will also help RIDOT understand how standard road maintenance activities like snow plowing might be affected by this type or road surface. The total cost to implement is expected to be $1 million.