I read the article in The Valley Breeze last week about the saga of Councilwoman O’Hara and the condition of the sidewalks on Smithfield Road and the problems the residents living on Smithfield Road are having.
To clarify what the town had done in the past in that neighborhood, including Summit Street, White Parkway and Smithfield Road, is as follows.
In 1999 the Department of Public Works was given the task to put together a plan to upgrade the pavement and sidewalks on those roadways. The plan would include engineered plans, cost estimate for funding as a part of the town’s capital budget and a construction timeline.
The sequence would be Summit Avenue then White Parkway since they were town maintained roads. The design, funding and construction of Smithfield Road was and still is a conversation that was/should take place with representatives from RIDOT, the town and members of the town’s state representatives as to who would be responsible for a project of this magnitude for sidewalks that are within the RIDOT right of way. The inclusion of the town’s state representatives would be in case funds were needed that they could obtain from state funds.
In the end after 22 years the only road that was upgraded was Summit Avenue. White Parkway was never done and the political rhetoric continues as to the conditions of the sidewalks that the residents on Smithfield Road have to deal with and nothing has been done.
Bottom line, the North Smithfield Public Works in 1999 had a plan but it was never fully implemented by the town leadership.
Former director of Public Works in North Smithfield