PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) — The Providence City Council voted Thursday in favor of a resolution asking the Department of Public Works (DPW) to stop issuing permits to Rhode Island Energy, formerly known as National Grid.
The council claims the utility company has failed to repair the city’s sidewalks and roadways after construction and maintenance projects, especially in Ward 6.
After investing millions of dollars into the city’s roads and sidewalks, council members said they’ve seen numerous streets left unrepairable.
Councilman Michael Correia (Ward 6), who sponsored the resolution, is calling for an immediate halt to any future work until certain areas are revitalized.
“Rhode Island Energy has failed to return our roads to preconstruction condition time and time again,” Correia said. “Large stretches of roadways in my neighborhood have significant damage from these utility companies and it’s time we hold them accountable.”
The council is also requesting that the Director of Public Works remove bike lanes from Delaine Street to Aleppo Street.
“While bike lanes are a valuable part of our city infrastructure, in this particular area they pose a risk to both drivers and bike riders,” Correia said.
Rhode Island Energy released a statement Friday saying it’s “committed to restoring every street where we work to the same or better condition that existed prior to our arrival.”
“However, there are a variety of factors that play into final restoration including future work by other utilities, the time of year, or additional work we may be pursuing in the same area,” the statement continued. “We have a strong working relationship with the Providence DPW and all of our work in the city is performed only after they have reviewed our plans and issued the proper permits.”
The company also said it’s been in close contact with Correia and the DPW. The resolution now goes to the director of public works for further assessment.