6-10 connector meeting sparks pointed questions over project plans

By Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

PROVIDENCE, RI –

At least one hundred people packed in the Webster Ave school auditorium, ready to fire off questions about the $800 million dollar 6–10 connector reconstruction project.

RIDOT presented three options: keeping a traditional expressway, creating a boulevard or a hybrid of the two.

As for price tags, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said a boulevard would be the cheapest option, but he could not put a figure on it. Both the traditional expressway and hybrid options would cost roughly $525 million each.

Alviti told ABC6 that he did not support one plan, over another. “At this point no, we’re still early in the design stage,” he said.

Others in the crowd were more opinionated, as well as frustrated.

"With all that traffic, it takes me two hours to get from there, to get to the exit to get home now,” said Linda Mazariegos of Providence. “And I like the boulevard."

"A highway or a hybrid would be worse for car commuters, would be worse for transit commuters…  it would be worse for development and it would be worse for taxpayers,” said James Kennedy, a member of Move Together Providence.  His group announced they are a proponent of the boulevard plan.

A number of concerns came forth at the end of the presentation, including issues of cost, unclear environmental impacts and overall transparency to the public.

"I’m really concerned about the process that we’ve seen here. Because of the rush for the application, they haven’t made it clear that this is the beginning of the process, not the end,” said David Stuebe of Providence.