Is Rhode Island ready to step up for New Orleans?

One suggestion for finding funding to pay for the $200B reconstruction of New Orleans is to redirect funding allocated in the recently passed highway bill. Here is the list of projects earmarked for Rhode Island, straight from the text of the bill. Are Rhode Islanders — citizens and Congressional delegation alike — willing to step up and declare that they are willing to sacrifice some of these projects to help rebuild a decimated American city?






















































Transportation Improvements for the Apponaug Bypass $22,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the Washington Secondary Bicycle Facility/Coventry Greenway/Trestle Trail (Coventry) $4,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the Northwest Biketrail/Woonasquatucket River Greenway (Providence, Johnston) $6,000,000
New Interchange constructed from I-195 to Taunton and Warren Avenue in East Providence $7,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the Blackstone River Bikeway (Providence, Woonsocket) $10,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the Jamestown Bridge Demolition–Bicycle Access/Trestle Span Demolition/Fishing Pier (N. Kingstown) $4,000,000
Weybosset Street (200 Block) Streetscape and Drop-off Lane Improvement-Providence $750,000
Acquisition of fee or easement, construction of a trail, and site improvements in Foster $1,000,000
Open space acquisition to mitigate growth associated with SR 4 and Interstate 95, by non-profit land conservation agencies through acquisition of fee or easement, with a match requirement of 50% of the total purchase price $8,000,000
Replace Sakonnet Bridge$7,000,000
Transportation Enhancements at Blackstone Valley Heritage Corridor$500,000
Bury the Power Lines at India Point $2,500,000
Restore and Expand Maritime Heritage site in Bristol $500,000
Transportation Improvements for the Colt State Park Bike Path$2,000,000
Construct trails and facility improvements within the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge complex $1,000,000
Improvements for the Commuter rail in Rhode Island $5,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the East Main Road in Middletown$5,000,000
Downtown Circulation Improvements Providence $2,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the Route 138 (South Kingstown) $4,000,000
Transportation Improvements for the Route 1 Gilbert Stuart Turnaround (N. Kingstown) $2,750,000
Rehabilitate and improve Rt. 138 from Rt. 108 to Rt. 2 $12,000,000
Improve traffic circulation and road surfacing in downtown Providence $5,000,000
Improve access to Pell Bridge in Newport $5,000,000
Completion of Washington Secondary Bike Path from Coventry to Connecticut Border $7,000,000
Replace Warren Bridge in Warren $11,000,000
Rehabilitation of Stillwater Viaduct in Smithfield $5,000,000
Completion of Greenway from Johnston to Providence $5,000,000
Replace Natick Bridge in Warwick and West Warwick$5,000,000

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Bruce
16 years ago

I lived in Rhode Island for about 15 years and I know a good number of these places and what the money would be spent on. In all honesty, given the rampant corruption of Rhode Island and government in general, I’m surprised at the number of these projects that I would consider as being worth doing.
The one which stands out as goofy-as-hell would be
“Open space acquisition to mitigate growth associated with SR 4 and Interstate 95, by non-profit land conservation agencies through acquisition of fee or easement, with a match requirement of 50% of the total purchase price”
The area where 4 and 95 intersect is not particularly pristine or worth spending a lot of money to keep it rural when there are huge amounts of space south of there which are rural.
I don’t know the details of the Appanoag bypass, but I know the intersection (Centerville and Post) and it’s not an urgent thing, really. Yeah, the intersection is a pain, but it’s no worse than a lot of places in the Boston area.
It would be nice to see non-profits paying for the bike paths (maybe they contribute, I don’t know).

Protagonist
16 years ago

I’d like to see the cuts, but $152M is a drop in a milk jug compared to what’s necessary to ameliorate the effects of Katrina relief.

mrsizer
16 years ago

I agree with Andrew, bridges yes/bikepaths no, but not as a matter of priorities but appropriateness.
Having the Federal Government “chip in” for road construction makes sense: People who don’t live in the area use the roads.
However, bikepaths are for purely local use and should be funded locally.

Jack A.
Jack A.
16 years ago

I’m a native of southern Rhode Island who’s lived on the west coast for a while, where I work in state government. I drove over the new Jamestown bridge while visiting family in R.I. over Labor Day. If the old Jamestown Bridge sits there for a while longer, it’s hard to see big deal. As we say in the budget biz, whack it, and put the money where it’s needed, given the very different circumstances since that bloated highway bill was passed.

Glenmore
Glenmore
16 years ago

I used to live in RI but it’s been a while.
$152 million is NOT just a ‘drop in the bucket’, considering the small size of RI. Even disregarding size that works out to $7.5 billion – probably about 5% of the total need. As Sen. Everett Dirkson once said, “a billion dollars here, a billion dollars there – pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”
I expect the cost efficiency of the listed projects to be roughly comparable to the regional norm – ie. the ‘Big Dig’.

Stephanie
Stephanie
16 years ago

I agree completely with all but two (and I think any other Rhode Islander would agree)
1. New Interchange constructed from I-195 to Taunton and Warren Avenue in East Providence $7,000,000
2.Rehabilitate and improve Rt. 138 from Rt. 108 to Rt. 2 $12,000,000
Both are pretty significant amounts of money, but if completed would improve safety in a major way, and are considerably more worthwhile than bike paths.

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