Rhode Island program would make $20M available for infrastructure projects

© Shutterstock

The proposed RIReady Municipal Road Fund Program in Gov. Dan McKee’s fiscal year 2024 budget would make available $20 million for bridge, road, and sidewalk projects on locally maintained city and town roads.

Local communities often struggle to reach enough capital improvement funds in their budgets to maintain transportation infrastructure properly. The program would provide 33 percent of project costs.

Of the $20 million, $15 million will be divided equally among cities and towns, with the remaining $5 million distributed proportionally to municipalities based on miles of roads.

There would be a quarterly reporting requirement and other accountability measures.

The program would use federal American Rescue Plan funds, and projects would need to be completed by the end of 2026.

Approximately 5,000 miles, 80 percent of the state’s road miles, are maintained by cities and towns. Nearly half of municipal roads are in poor condition, according to the most recent annual pavement data submitted to the Federal Highway Administration.

McKee recently discussed his proposal at the North Providence Department of Public Works. He was joined by Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, Jr., North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi, Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns Executive Director Ernie Almonte, and municipal leaders.