CRANSTON, RI — New federal money is on the way to help accelerate improvements along Route 37, a heavily-trafficked corridor linking two cities and Interstates 95 and 295.
Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Seth Magaziner announced a new $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to fund multimodal improvements on Route 37.
This new federal funding will advance the final piece of Route 37 work, on the road’s most eastern portion between I-295 in Cranston and Post Road in Warwick. 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 bicycle separated 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. 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.
“This is great news for the state and anyone who has ever driven through this section of Route 37. It’s going to accelerate progress and ultimately create a faster, safer, smoother drive for motorists. 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 to make our roadways safer, more efficient, and reduce pollution and congestion.” said Senator Reed, a senior 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.
“We are very pleased to receive another federal grant to accelerate some of the necessary 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, bringing an economic boom to Rhode Island,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr.
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.”
This is the second RAISE grant Rhode Island has received this week. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) was awarded an $8.5 million RAISE grant to conduct the necessary planning, project development, and engineering for an expanded Rapid Bus Network. When it is completed, the expanded Rapid Bus Network would provide enhanced high-capacity, reliable bus services to and from Providence and other urban areas with high-ridership demands, improving transit times and reliability, supporting community mobility, and allowing for greater, more affordable connectivity between communities and areas of economic opportunity.
Chip Unruh (Reed), (202) 224-4642
Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), (202) 224-2921
James Kwon (Magaziner), (202) 951-0315