Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr., U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Jim Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, and other state and local leaders today gathered on Old Tower Hill Road in the South Kingstown village of Wakefield for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of much-needed roadway and pedestrian safety improvements for one of the town’s busiest commercial corridors. The project finished on budget and one month ahead of schedule.

The $3.9 million project resurfaced 0.5 miles of badly deteriorated roadway from the Route 1 interchange to the intersection with Route 108 (Kingstown Road), known locally as Dale Carlia Corner. In addition to resurfacing, the project made several safety improvements with a focus on pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular safety. These included upgrading traffic signals, installing new curbing and wider, ADA-compliant sidewalks, adding crosswalks and adding a bike lane in both directions. RIDOT also added median islands to better control traffic flow in and out of businesses in the corridor.

As part of the project, RIDOT included on-site stormwater treatment systems called bio-retention basins. They were installed within the sidewalks that were widened as part of the project to accommodate the new system. The bio-retention basins will reduce pollution from stormwater, especially when the initial volume of runoff from a rainstorm enters the drainage system (when the level of contaminants is highest).

“The project is a beautiful addition to the Wakefield business district, and not only makes it safer for drivers, walkers and bikers in this corridor, but helps us make strides in meeting our obligations to reduce stormwater pollution from our roads,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said.

“These improvements will provide a safer, smoother, and more accessible street for everyone who drives, walks, or bikes along this critical corridor,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), which oversees federal funding on transportation projects.

“Pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists will benefit from these improvements in the heart of the Wakefield business district,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Well done to RIDOT on making the reduction of storm water pollution a priority in this project.”

“I am happy to mark the completion of another project that will make roadways more inviting and safer for all who use them while reducing their environmental impact,” said Congressman Langevin. “Congratulations to RIDOT, the surrounding communities in South County, and all who played a role in realizing these important improvements.”

“Wakefield is already a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. The completion of this project on Old Tower Hill Road improves one of the village’s busiest sections of commerce. I’m especially pleased that RIDOT completed it ahead of schedule and under budget,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Rhode Islanders know that we need to do more to fix our crumbling infrastructure and bring it into the 21st century. That’s why I was proud to support the Moving Forward Act, which the House passed earlier this year to provide $1.5 trillion for local infrastructure projects.”

“With leadership from our Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, South Kingstown has been putting a lot of thought into how to improve our road infrastructure in terms of both safety and environmental impact, and this project is a great example of those efforts,” said South Kingstown Town Council President Abel Collins. “It’s been wonderful to have RIDOT listen to the needs of the community and work with us to rebuild Tower Hill Road into a truly welcoming gateway for Wakefield’s business district.”

The Old Tower Hill Road Improvement Project was made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs.
Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.

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