Rhode Island's Infrastructure
The 10 cent toll over the Sakonnet Bridge is a thing of the past.
On June 19, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the FY2015 budget into law which created a new Infrastructure Trust Fund combining a number of existing revenue streams to create a predictable pool of funding for the state’s transportation needs.
Beginning July 1 all vehicle-related fees, which previously were directed into the state’s general fund, are now redirected to the infrastructure fund over 5 years.
But what about the rest of Rhode Island’s infrastructure?
Once every four years, America’s civil engineers provide a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s major infrastructure systems in ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Read Rhode Island's score below.
ASEC's Report Card for RI Infrastructure
156 of the 757 bridges in Rhode Island (20.6%) are considered structurally deficient. 255 of the 757 bridges in Rhode Island (33.7%) are considered functionally obsolete.
Driving on roads in need of repair costs Rhode Island motorists $350 million a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $467 per motorist. 70% of Rhode Island’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
Rhode Island’s dam safety program has 1.6 full-time employees that each oversee an average of 416.9 state regulated dams. Rhode Island has 87 high hazard dams. None of the state regulated dams in Rhode Island have an Emergency Action Plan. Rhode Island’s state dam safety program has an annual budget of $189,966.
Rhode Island has reported $428 million in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.
Infrastructure is the foundation that connects Aquidneck Island to Rhode Island’s businesses, communities, and resources, driving our island economy.
We need a safe, maintained and well financed infrastructure system – We can explore putting these projects together while we put Rhode Island back to work. Interest rates are near historic lows.
I will work with other members of the RI Assembly and our new governor to explore the new revolving funds and infrastructure financing models.
I will support public/private partnerships to change the way capital projects are financed.
I will explore "multi infrastructure projects" which target and merge multiple infrastructure investments and focus resources into projects that achieve multiple and strategic goals simuntaneously.