August 12, 2010

RI to Receive Over $2.26 Million in Federal Funds to Help Repair Route 95 Bridge

Pawtucket River Bridge Has Been Under Weight Restriction Since 2007

Providence, RI – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that Rhode Island will receive a $2,266,200 federal appropriation to help repair the Pawtucket River Bridge on I-95. Reed and Whitehouse secured the funding in the Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations bill. They also secured $1.9 million for the bridge in 2009.

In 2007, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) found the bridge’s steel beams and other supports were deteriorating and put a 22-ton weight limit on the bridge. In 2008, in an abundance of caution, the state lowered the limit to 18 tons, which effectively banned large trucks from using the bridge, which spans the section of I-95 from the George Street to School Street exits.

“The Pawtucket River Bridge is an essential artery for moving commerce through Rhode Island. Replacing this bridge will help get our economy moving and ease noise and traffic congestion for local residents,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“Anyone who has traveled on I-95 north of Providence knows that the weight restrictions imposed on the Pawtucket River Bridge can cause frustrating delays, especially for heavier vehicles. This funding will help ease the strain on Rhode Islanders’ daily commute, generate local construction jobs, and make sure this important artery remains safe and strong for years to come,” said Whitehouse.

Congressmen Kennedy and Langevin supported the federal appropriation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reed and Whitehouse also secured $3 million in this year’s Appropriations bill, which was approved by the full Committee last month. The bill has yet to be voted on by the full Senate.

The Pawtucket River Bridge was originally built in 1958 to carry 60,000 vehicles per day, but presently carries approximately 162,000 vehicles over Taft Street and the Pawtucket River.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921