WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island leaders held a news conference Friday to announce federal funding that will help kick off the final phase of improvements to Route 37.
Gov. Dan McKee was joined by U.S. Sens Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Seth Magaziner, House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi, and R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti to discuss a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant for the project.
The money is part of a larger plan for the Route 37 corridor, which will include the rehabilitation, replacement or removal of eight bridges.
RIDOT is already working to rebuild 21 bridges along the corridor through Phases 1 and 2, which is currently behind schedule.
Travel on Route 37 will be impacted for the next two years.
Officials said the federal funding will also help “right-size sections of the road, replace an overbuilt loop-ramp with an at-grade interchange, and eliminate redundant infrastructure to open up land for future economic development.”
Additionally, there are plans to improve roadways for bikers, walkers and buses.
The funds will cover about 80% of the $164.5 million project costs for Phases 1 and 2. The additional $25 million will go toward the final phase, which is estimated to cost about $100 million.
The work is part of the $85 million Cranston Canyon Project. In addition to replacing the bridges and making safety improvements, RIDOT said the goal is to “reduce chronic congestion issues.”