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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $1.6 Million in Grants for Rhode Island Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs with road repairs and multiple bridge replacement projects

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $1.6 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Rhode Island, such as replacing three bridges in Washington County and initial construction on the Warwick Station in Providence.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Rhode Island residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Rhode Island received funding for the following projects:

Advance construction on key safety and pedestrian infrastructure at Warwick Station in Warwick $847,860
Replacement of three structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges – two over Breakhart Brook and one over Falls River in Washington County $350,000
Rhode Island Department of Transportation training to help disadvantaged business enterprises prepare to compete for federal highway contracts $250,260
Rhode Island Department of Transportationto provide additional services to help people prepare for careers in highway construction $225,000
Replacement of Rt. 114 bridge over East Shore Expressway in East Providence (waiver of state match, estimated at 20 percent of construction costs or, roughly, $600,000)
TOTAL $1,673,120

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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