A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held for the start of Phase two of Rhode Island’s Pell Bridge project, which will redesign the road network connecting to the Pell Bridge to make travel into Newport easy and safe.
The $74 million phase will build a ramp system that will reduce congestion and improve the connection between Newport’s North End and downtown.
Phase one of the project cost $10.9 million and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The phase will improve JT Connell Highway and Coddington Highway from Admiral Kalbfus Road to West Main Road in Middletown.
Phase two is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The new ramps will have a smaller footprint that frees up approximately 25 acres of land.
Other project highlights include building a park and ride lot and a bike path and removing the elevated highway that terminates near the Wayfinder Hotel and former Newport Grand/Newport Jai Alai property.
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, U.S. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rhode Island Department of Transportation Acting Administrator of Project Management Lori Fisette, state and local leaders attended the ceremony.
“We need to bring our roads and bridges into the 21st Century,” Cicilline said. “The Pell Bridge Ramps project will not only modernize the road and bridge network, making travel easier and safer, it will also create jobs, free land for development, and spur economic growth.”