PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A group of state legislators is calling on the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to make fixing Route 146 a priority.
Rep. Brian Newberry, along with 19 other legislators from northern Rhode Island, is requesting that RIDOT expedite repairs for Route 146 between the interchange of I-295 in Lincoln and the Massachusetts border.
According to Newberry, Route 146 is not slated for maintenance until 2022, even though the road surface has deteriorated drastically.
Newberry believes four years is too long to wait for repairs, especially for one of the five main highway entry points to Rhode Island.
“When I asked one of my colleagues to join in this effort, not only did he enthusiastically agree, but he suggested we include photos of his bent wheel rims recently gifted him from a trip up Route 146,” Newberry said. “I understand that resources are scarce and road problems are not unique to the northern part of the state, but these terrible conditions leave the wrong impression about Rhode Island on visitors and citizens alike who travel Route 146 every day.”
Newberry wrote a letter to RIDOT, which was co-signed by 19 other legislators, to voice concerns on the road conditions.
RIDOT released a statement in regards to Newberry’s call to expedite repairs, saying they will take the lawmaker’s letter into consideration:
We understand the concerns of our representatives and of the taxpayers. Our mission is to address the long-term infrastructure needs of the state and we have done this through the creation of a 10-year plan, the first in Rhode Island’s history. This plan is a data-driven approach mandated by both the state and the federal government. RIDOT employs a careful and methodical asset management approach to all our road and bridge projects. Each is in the queue for specific reasons.
Under the RhodeWorks legislation, we as an agency are compelled to take an objective approach to bringing the state’s infrastructure into a state of good repair by the year 2025. We have implemented this approach for more than two years now, and with great success.
For the first time in Rhode Island’s history we have a plan to reach our goal of having roads and bridges in good repair. And for the first time in Rhode Island’s history every project that RIDOT does is being done when the agency said it would be and the great majority are on time and on budget. Only the integrity of the plan ensures that we can continue to provide this high level of service to all Rhode Islanders.
As originally intended in the legislation, RIDOT along with Statewide Planning revisits the 10-Year RhodeWorks Plan annually in order to adapt it to new information and to consider the ever-changing condition of our infrastructure as we endeavor to bring it to a state of good repair. In the spirit of that policy, we will re-investigate the condition of this project location as we do all other roadways and bridges throughout Rhode Island during this year’s review. We understand how difficult it is to wait for a project to be finished and will take this letter under advisement.