Accelerating Improvements: $25M RAISE Grant for RIDOT Paves Way for Third Phase of Route 37 Work
WARWICK, RI – Members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today gathered with Governor Dan McKee, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, and transportation officials to celebrate a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to fund multimodal improvements and infrastructure upgrades along Route 37.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Seth Magaziner secured the $25 million in federal funds to advance the third and final phase of improvements along the most eastern portion of Route 37, a heavily-trafficked corridor linking two cities and Interstates 95 and 295.
“I’m pleased to deliver federal funding to accelerate improvements along Route 37. The state will put this money to use making our road systems safer, smoother, and more resilient and accessible. It’s also good news for RIPTA riders and cyclists. I helped create the RAISE grant program so Rhode Island and other states could compete for funding for projects like this that are hard to pay for, but much needed. It is going to make our roadways more efficient, while reducing pollution and congestion.” said Senator Reed, a leading member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped first established 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.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a major boost to the RAISE Grant Program, and I’m very pleased a good chunk of that money is coming to Rhode Island to help complete the Route 37 improvement project,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “This significant grant builds on previous federal awards for the project, which will ultimately make navigating an important West Bay connection smoother and safer for drivers.”
“When we said we’re going to invest in our state’s infrastructure, we meant it. I am very excited that $25,000,000 in federal funding is coming to Rhode Island to repair Route 37,” said Representative Seth Magaziner.
“Our Administration remains focused on ensuring Rhode Island's roads and bridges are in a state of good repair and safe for all — the ongoing work here on Route 37 shows just that," said Governor McKee. "I thank our Congressional delegation for their dedication in securing the necessary federal grants to ensure these improvements are completed, as well as our partners at RIDOT for their continued focus on rebuilding and rehabilitating this vital corridor.”
“Our federal delegation has once again stepped up to deliver vital funding for transportation projects that will benefit all Rhode Islanders, and we were proud to support the state portion of the funding needed to supplement the federal investment. This reconstruction project will not only enhance the safety for motorists on this busy corridor, but upon completion will strengthen the economic development opportunities in my home city of Warwick,” said Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi.
“This new federal grant will accelerate the final phase of work RIDOT is performing on Route 37, a major east-west corridor in the Providence metropolitan area. Thanks to Senators Reed and Whitehouse, as well as Congressman Magaziner, we have received more than $66 million in grants to right size this important roadway. Combined with other federal funds and matching Rhode Island state funds, this $100 million dollar project will complete a $261 million dollar investment to finalize the transformation of Route 37 across three projects. We’re already starting the planning process to initiate this final phase, which will result in a significant economic boom to Rhode Island,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr.
Work will include the major rehabilitation, replacement, or removal of 8 bridges. The new federal funds will also help right-size sections of the road, replace an overbuilt loop-ramp with an at-grade interchange, and eliminate redundant infrastructure to open up land for future economic development. RIDOT will also build a new structure for high-capacity transit, install Transit Signal Priority (TSP) at approximately eight locations and queue jump lanes for buses, and construct a new, separated bicycle path.
RIDOT is already working to rebuild or refurbish 21 bridges along the Route 37 corridor through Phases 1 and 2 of its planned Route 37 work. This latest award is part of a larger plan for the corridor that includes Route 37 and I-295 interchange improvements to address the safety, congestion, and weaving concerns in the interchange area and along I-295 North up to Route 6.
Federal funding will cover about eighty percent of the $164.5 million project costs for Phase 1 and 2, including two previous TIGER/BUILD awards that totaled $41 million. The new $25 million announced today will go toward the third and final phase of Route 37 work, which is estimated to cost about $100 million.
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.”
Chip Unruh (Reed), (202) 224-4642
Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), (202) 224-2921
James Kwon (Magaziner), (202) 951-0315
Charles St. Martin (RIDOT), (401) 563-4007
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