September 5, 2013

RI Wins $10 Million Federal TIGER Grant for Improvements to Apponaug Circulator in Warwick

WARWICK, RI – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representative James Langevin today joined Governor Lincoln Chafee to announce a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for the Apponaug Circulator Long-Term Improvements Project in Warwick. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to begin construction on the project next spring.
For years, Warwick’s Apponaug Business District has suffered from high traffic congestion in large part due to the outdated one-way circulator running through the district, which has proven insufficient to handle the flow of traffic and stifled economic development in the area. The $10 million federal TIGER grant, competitively selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), will be used to construct a new two-way bypass system around the heart of the district, among other improvements. The new system will greatly increase efficiency and safety in the area and will help boost development efforts in the district near Warwick City Hall between Apponaug Four Corners and Williams Corner.
“This is great news for Rhode Island. This is a smart investment that will help create jobs, improve the efficiency of traffic, and increase safety for motorists and pedestrians. Through this project, RIDOT will also be able to restore habitat, reduce the frequency of flooding, improve air quality and prevent storm water runoff that damages the nearby Greenwich Bay,” said Governor Lincoln Chafee. “This project will also help the City of Warwick move forward with key economic revitalization efforts.”
“We need to improve Rhode Island’s transportation system in a way that encourages economic growth and bolsters job creation. I appreciate Secretary Foxx’s support for investing in Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure. This $10 million TIGER grant will help improve traffic flow through Apponaug and really get this project moving. Governor Chafee has led the way on this project for years, first as Mayor, then as a U.S. Senator, and now as Governor. Thanks to his years of hard work and this TIGER grant, RIDOT can begin to carry out its plans to ease traffic congestion. I will continue working to deliver federal resources to enhance Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee.
“I was proud to support RIDOT’s application for these TIGER funds, which will create badly needed construction jobs and help spur Warwick’s ongoing revitalization efforts,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This funding will help improve traffic, open up Apponaug to pedestrians and bicyclists, and ultimately make the area an attractive location for new economic development.”
“As Rhode Island’s second largest city and home to T.F. Green Airport, Warwick serves as a gateway to our state,” U.S. Representative James Langevin said. “The Apponaug Circulator is one of the city’s major arteries and its aging infrastructure is in dire need of repair. This $10 million TIGER grant will not only fund necessary improvements, but it will also pave the way for new traffic to access the area through an easier-to-navigate, two-way bypass. Apponaug has long been considered the city center, and I am proud to help facilitate these changes to improve its economic competitiveness and show visitors all that Warwick has to offer.”
“Thanks to our Federal delegation and Governor Chafee we can now do our part to increase safety and enhance economic development potential in this heavily traveled corridor in Warwick’s city center while helping to preserve the historic nature of the community,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Throughout history, economic growth has occurred at centers of transportation, and here in Rhode Island, Warwick is quickly emerging as just that, a first-class provider of intermodal services. We’re thrilled to be in a position to continue our investment in Warwick through the Apponaug Circulator project, while employing the latest in context-sensitive design standards.”
Overall, the project is estimated to cost approximately $33.5 million, with $10 million coming from the federal TIGER grant, $11.4 million from the federal National Highway Performance Program, $5.4 million in federally-directed appropriations that then-Senator Chafee secured, and $6.7 million in state matching funds.
RIDOT announced that bidding on the project is scheduled to begin this fall with construction starting as early as spring of 2014.
Applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the fifth round of TIGER grants totaled more than $9 billion, far exceeding the $474 million that Congress appropriated for the program. According to USDOT, there were 568 applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.
The previous four rounds of the TIGER program provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects nationwide, including three in Rhode Island. During the previous four rounds, USDOT received more than 4,050 applications requesting more than $105.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.
This latest federal grant brings Rhode Island’s total TIGER grant funding to $52.8 million, including a recent $10 million grant to help replace the Providence Viaduct, as well as $10.5 million to purchase new harbor cranes at the Port of Providence and $22.3 million for infrastructure upgrades at the Quonset Business Park, including road, pier, and freight improvements which will increase port capacity at the Port of Davisville.


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