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.”