RIDOT orders Providence to stop working on bike lane or pay $4.4M


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence must stop all work on a bike lane project or may have to reimburse the state and the federal government $4.4 million for the cost of a previous infrastructure project at the same location.

In a letter sent Wednesday, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) asked the city to halt construction on South Water Street.

RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said a 1999 agreement signed by the city’s former mayor means any changes made at that location must be approved by the department and the Federal Highway Administration.

In a statement, Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city is moving forward with the project despite the objections.

“The RIDOT letter requesting a cease and desist based upon a 22-year-old agreement is extremely dubious, at best,” he wrote. “This project is materially complete, and the only remaining piece is installing non-permanent delineators to ensure the safety of drivers, cyclists and walkers.”

Elorza said the city will also, “complete a full review of the RIDOT complaint to determine if the project requires any material changes.”

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