Federal, state, and local officials were on hand Monday for a ceremony kicking off the $410 million 6-10 Interchange reconstruction project in Rhode Island that is slated for completion in 2023.
After stalling for 30 years, officials have deployed a design-build approach to rebuild and repair the highway and its nine bridges. Seven of the bridges have been deemed “structurally deficient” in recent years, and millions of dollars have been spent on supports to keep the highway operational.
“For too long, the disrepair of this interchange symbolized Rhode Island’s failure to invest in ourselves,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said. “Today, we’re taking a big step forward. Working with federal, state and local supporters, [the Rhode Island Department of Transportation] RIDOT will revitalize the 6-10, bringing it into a state of good repair while also creating greenspace, bike paths and good construction jobs for Rhode Islanders.”
Highway design work is expected to be completed in one year. In the meantime, RIDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will carry out processes outlined in the National Environmental Policy Act for the project.
By enabling a team to perform design and construction work simultaneously, the design-build concept aims to speed up project completion and to minimize the risk of cost overruns.
“When we all first gathered at this site two years ago, it was to articulate a shared vision,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. “The 6-10 Interchange was the symbol of what we absolutely had to do in Rhode Island — rebuild our infrastructure. We gathered to express our commitment to that process. Today we are fulfilling that commitment.”
U.S. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) were also on hand for the ceremony. Both senators commended Raimondo’s leadership on the project and highlighted its importance.
“Modernizing our infrastructure is one of my top priorities,” Whitehouse said. “…The delegation will keep fighting for every available federal dollar to continue putting Rhode Islanders back to work upgrading our infrastructure.”