Governor Dan McKee (D) and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation recently hosted a ceremony in the Town of Smithfield, home to the first set of transportation projects in the state to take advantage of the new RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program.
[Above photo by RIDOT]
The town will receive $433,161 to support 17 projects across 14 miles of road from the new funding program, including Limerock Road and Ridge Road which haven’t been paved in nearly 20 years. As required by the program, Smithfield will make an $879,463 funding match to bring the total investment to $1.3 million.
The RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program, passed by the General Assembly as part of Gov. McKee’s fiscal year 2024 budget, makes $20 million in matching funds available to support important road, bridge, and sidewalk projects on locally maintained city and town roads.
Of the $20 million available in the fund, $5 million is being divided equally among each city and town, with the remaining $15 million distributed proportionally to municipalities based on the miles of roads maintained by each community. Cities and towns with more roads will be able to seek more funding, RIDOT said, noting that all projects using these funds must be completed by the end of 2026.
With the matching funds from local communities, RIDOT said the program is expected to leverage nearly $60 million to support road and bridge repairs across the state.
“Congratulations to the Town of Smithfield for being the first community in the state to start work on an RI Ready Municipal Road Program project,” the governor said in a statement.
“We’re ready to fix Rhode Island’s roads and bridges and finally improve our state’s infrastructure rankings – and with our municipal leaders on board, this is the team that’s going to get it done,” he added.
Since the program launched in August, all 39 of Rhode Island’s cities and towns have submitted project applications and $56.5 million worth of projects have been approved; this includes $16.5 million of state funds.
“We are proud to administer this program,” added RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. “Eighty percent of the roads in Rhode Island are maintained by our cities and towns. These are the roads that take us home, to school, to our local stores, to our kids’ games, to church and to mom’s house. They deserve the best of care and this program starts to make that possible.”