The Airport Connector, often the first impression visitors get after landing at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, is going to get greener as well as smoother under at $12.9 million …
The Airport Connector, often the first impression visitors get after landing at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, is going to get greener as well as smoother under at $12.9 million Airport Connector and Post Road resurfacing project announced Monday.
Governor Dan McKee, United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Rhode Island Federal Highway Administrator Carlos C. Machado and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr. broke ground for the project scheduled for this year.
According to the DOT, this project combines the best of both worlds, improved paving and safety with a massive landscaping project that will provide more than 400 plants and trees in both the median and the shoulder. The landscaping is designed to blend seamlessly with similar plantings around Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport to create a visually appealing gateway.
“For thousands of visitors to Rhode Island, the Airport Connector is Rhode Island’s welcome mat. These improvements will make vital safety improvements while providing a great first impression of our great state,” McKee said in a statement.
Airport Connector and Post Road resurfacing project is one of the first major resurfacing projects as part of RIDOT’s commitment to paving statewide. This year, RIDOT will spend $92 million on paving projects and $492 million over the next five years. This project will replace paving on four miles of road and put in new guide signs along the Airport Connector and I-95.
“Visitors and residents alike rely on RIDOT to help get them where they need to go, and I’m pleased to direct federal funding to the state to accelerate and advance key infrastructure upgrades like this. The Airport Connector is a critical access point and these improvements will ensure a safer, smoother ride for everyone getting to and from the airport,” said Senator Reed.
“Combined with other federally funded projects at T.F. Green, the modernized Airport Connector will improve the overall experience of flying out of PVD for locals and tourists alike,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Many more job-creating upgrades to Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, and airports are on the way thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill we passed in Washington.”
“Rhode Islanders have seen the transformation in our roads and bridges, and thanks to the new federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, we will be kicking our paving program into high gear and providing the type of safe, smooth roadways Rhode Islanders and all visitors to Rhode Island expect and deserve,” Director Alviti said.
The new road surface will give travelers a safer riding surface on the 1-mile Airport Connector and 3 miles of Route 1 and Route 1A (Post Road), from Coronado Road to Warwick Avenue, according to the release. However, as Mayor Frank Picozzi confirmed Tuesday the improvements to Post Road will continue south from Coronado to the Post Road extension. When Picozzi learned that the DOT planned to stop improvements at Coronado, he appealed to the state.
He reached an agreement to extend the improvements with the city playing for the work. The City Council approved $700,000 in ARPA funding that is specifically earmarked for infrastructure improvements. In addition to new pavement, the project design eliminates hazardous drop-offs and includes new high visibility pavement markers. It also improves pedestrian access conditions along Post Road with new sidewalks and pedestrian ramps.
On the I-95 southbound ramp, the project will replace the median guardrail and install a grass swale. The plantings will be placed in the median and along the grass shoulder.
The Airport Connector carries 20,000 vehicles daily. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2023.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The Airport Connector Project is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s commitment to bring Rhode Island’s infrastructure into a state of good repair while respecting the environment and striving to improve it.