Costs of Broad Street project go up; Pawtucket intersection back in plans

Costs of Broad Street project go up; Pawtucket intersection back in plans

Work no longer starting this spring

PAWTUCKET – After some discussions in recent weeks about possible cutbacks to the Pawtucket portion of the Broad Street regeneration project as a means of cost savings, all local components of the project are back on board, say officials.

The project manager has indicated that the scope of the Pawtucket portion of the three-community project will remain the same as previously discussed, said Wilder Arboleda, spokesman for Mayor Donald Grebien.

“This includes improvements to the Broad/Goff/Exchange Street intersection,” he said.

Charles St. Martin, spokesman for RIDOT, said the 3.2-mile project through Pawtucket, Central Falls and Cumberland will now cost about $2 million more than the original estimate of $11.5 million based on additional work needed to accommodate requests from the three communities.

These changes include added drainage systems along Broad Street in Cumberland, which requires relocation of underground utility ducts, and changes requested by the city of Pawtucket at the intersection of Broad Street and Exchange Street to make it safer and more friendly to pedestrians. The original scope of the project did not include that intersection, said St. Martin.

The project is going forward with the dollars provided in the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan, said St. Martin.

The $11.5 million project, coupled with what is now $2 million in additional funding, is subject to an amendment of the improvement plan this spring. Tentatively, RIDOT intends to advertise for a contractor this summer. Construction could begin later this year or early in 2020, but that schedule has not been determined, said St. Martin.

Construction has previously been slated for this spring.

St. Martin confirmed this week that a Cumberland portion of the project, from Church Street to Mendon Road, will be scaled back to just paving instead of a complete reconstruction as a cost-saving measure.

“That segment is in better condition than the southern segment where the reconstruction is needed,” he said.

RIDOT has been meeting monthly with representatives from all three communities, who are aware of all changes and RIDOT’s plans moving forward, said St. Martin. In addition to the Pawtucket intersection work, “this important project retains the original scope which includes pavement reconstruction, stormwater drainage work, turning/parking lanes, sidewalks, streetscape amenities and shade trees.”

A new and improved Broad Street, with better drainage, safer sidewalks, street trees and other changes, is expected to help rejuvenate an underutilized corridor long targeted for redevelopment efforts.