Intense road repaving set this summer

Posted 5/2/24

If you frequently drive West Shore Road from Hoxsie Four Corners, you know what side of the lane to hug to avoid the rattling thump of partially sunken manhole covers. And then there is the …

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Intense road repaving set this summer


If you frequently drive West Shore Road from Hoxsie Four Corners, you know what side of the lane to hug to avoid the rattling thump of partially sunken manhole covers. And then there is the occasional unexpected pot hole. Overall, it’s not too bad for a state road. Mayor Frank Picozzi keeps an eye on the condition of state roads, but it’s city roads that hold his attention.

He was recently introduced to the condition of Cowesett Road with his wife, Kim, at the wheel. He hardly believed the number of potholes.  The road went on his list for repaving this summer. Cowesett is one of the bigger projects, but not near four-lane Jefferson Boulevard, which is also on the list. Jefferson – where work will start at the Route 95 intersection and head south – represents a challenge as it is long extending south to Main Avenue and as a major thoroughfare for commercial traffic and access to Service Avenue and the UPS Distribution Center. Picozzi expects it will take more than a year to completely repave the road. Some work may be scheduled at night so as not to disrupt the morning “brown line” of scores upon scores of UPS vans as they depart for their rounds as well as commuter/commercial traffic.

Packed schedule

As it turns out so much work is planned for this summer that squeezing another road on the list would be difficult. The two companies awarded contracts  - T. Miozzi, LLC and Vinagro Corporation - simply don’t have the capacity to take on additional work, and that’s assuming agreeable weather holds out and they can get to every road. Eric Earls, director of Public Works said work started last week and should continue until November. In total about $4 million will be spent on road work this summer.

Picozzi has his sights set on neighborhoods and roads long neglected. The Lakeshore Drive neighborhood west of Warwick Pond is one of them.

“Those people have suffered for years because of that,” he said, referencing the demolition of and relocation of homes because of airport expansion followed by the construction of Winslow Park playing fields. There’s more to it than that. The replacement Lakeshore Drive bridge over Buckeye Brook jarred area residents. Not long after that was completed, a forced sewer main on Lakeshore Drive ruptured spilling of thousands of gallons of waste water into Warwick Pond. That was followed by the installation of bypass pipes throughout the area and eventually the relining of the original pipe that is to be completed by this summer.  The city has sought to address the periodic flooding of Lakeshore Drive by opening up the outflow to Buckeye Brook. The plan is to rebuild a section of the drive that floods frequently. The old road would be torn out and replaced with a binder that would be allowed to settle before being repaved next year, Picozzi said.

Also on the list this year is Kilvert Street west of the railroad that Picozzi dubbed “the worst in the city.” With nearby housing construction and heavy traffic to Metro Center, the road takes a beating that is perpetually pocked with potholes of different sizes from the one wheel bangers to the “you can’t avoid” verity.

From his recollection, another road requiring attention is North Country Club Drive.

State work on Post Road

After two years of anticipated construction, Picozzi is especially excited to see the state doing curb cuts and other work in preparation for the continued repaving of Post Road. Initially the work would have extended as far south as Coronado across from the airport. However, when Picozzi learned that was as far the state contract went, he pledged $800,000 of the city’s federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to extend the program south to the Greenwood Bridge.

And where else will all this money come from?

A good percentage of the work will be done as part of the Rhode Island Energy gas replacement program where the city picks up 28 percent of the repaving cost and the balance is covered by the utility. The city was also able to procure a major chunk of the $20 million the governor targeted for municipal repaving. Under the program which was based on “non-federally eligible lane miles” the city will receive $4 million. In addition, Picozzi points out that as the Bayside sewer project affecting more than 900 properties in Bayside, Riverview, Longmeadow and Highland Beach draws to a close, those roads will be repaved. That is repaving work in addition to what the city has budgeted

Asked for a total of funds spent on city roads over the past three years, the administration came up with $10.2 million of which about $5 million has been reimbursed by Rhode Island Energy.

Picozzi calculates the city has spent more repairing roads in three years than in three years of any prior administration. But he’s not bragging because there’s still so much more to do.

roads, roadwork


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