Broad Street reconstruction expected next spring

Broad Street reconstruction expected next spring

CUMBERLAND – The long-awaited Broad Street Regeneration Initiative, a plan headlined by the reconstruction of Broad Street through three communities, is set to get going in earnest next spring, according to officials.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s $11.5 million reconstruction of a three-mile stretch of Broad Street from Exchange Street in Pawtucket, through Central Falls, and ending at Mendon Road in Cumberland, combines two projects, according to RIDOT spokesman St. Martin: • A resurfacing project

• And a streetscape improvement project aimed at making the street safer and more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to resurfacing, the project will involve new curbing and sidewalks, new traffic signals, drainage work, some new street trees and bike lanes.

RIDOT has hired VHB to do the engineering and design. Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray said he expects plans to be at 90 percent completion and to be returned to community leaders, based on wish lists from the three municipalities involved, by the end of this month. Officials will then submit comments back to RIDOT.

“I’m very pleased at the way it’s moving ahead,” he said.

The program will include road repaving, sidewalk improvements, green and stormwater infrastructure improvements, pedestrian and bike safety improvements, and traffic light improvements. The bus shelter near Cumberland Town Hall will also be redone using grant funds.

Newly hired Broad Street Regeneration Initiative Coordinator Laura Burkett has been visiting and reaching out to businesses along Broad Street as part of the broader planning for making the corridor a more vibrant place to live and do business.

Murray and District 1 Councilor Jim Metivier said improved drainage along Broad Street has been the most important aspect of the project to them over more than three years of planning, and the mayor said the problems in the area are so bad he wouldn’t sign off on the plans until he knew that the issues will be addressed.

When completed, the Broad Street Regeneration Initiative will be “outstanding” for the area, said Murray, and include safer sidewalks, street trees, and other modern additions. Businesses along this stretch, going all the way down to a planned new train station in Pawtucket, will benefit greatly, he said. The only downer in this whole process was the loss of the Pawtucket Red Sox and a previously planned new stadium at the Pawtucket end of the project.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said he too is thrilled to see the project finally moving forward.

Comments

Hopefully there will also be signage improvements, especially where Rtes. 123 and 114 overlap in Valley Falls. It can be very confusing to an out-of-towner to try to follow either route since both are not linear routes through the neighborhood. Not everyone has GPS!