RIDOT discusses options for 6/10 Connector reconstruction

By News Staff

news@abc6.com

A public forum on the reconstruction of the 6/10 connector brought a huge turnout of people wanting to hear ideas for the future of the interchange.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and City of Providence discussed two options for consideration, both departing from the original highway reconstruction designs that would have only rebuilt the highways and bridge elements as they exist today.

RIDOT says it’s trying to re-imagine the 6/10 connector by considering traffic levels, design constraints and public comment to come up with new options.

One option includes rebuilding the interchange using traditional highway methods. Another includes a boulevard conversion.

RIDOT says both approaches would include provisions to incorporate a bus rapid transit (BRT) feature to add transit choices locally in the corridor and for commuters heading into and out of Providence.

According to a release, Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the country, yet its transit utilization ranks well below the national average.

RIDOT is evaluating the cost and benefits of both designs.

The Department is committed to submit to the federal government’s FASTLANE grant program by the April 14, 2016 deadline. The program, announced on February 26, has $800 million available for a nationwide competition.

RhodeWorks included $400 million in funds for the 6/10 interchange. Seven of the nine bridge structures in the interchange are classified as structurally deficient. The project has been under design for more than 30 years and is long overdue.

© WLNE-TV 2016