Rhode Island breaks ground on road project in Warren to address flooding issues

Aug. 26, 2021

Paving rehabilitation part of the project encompasses a 2.6-mile two-lane suburban/rural corridor

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) this week broke ground to start a pavement reclamation and reconstruction project for 2.6 miles along Birch Swamp Road and Schoolhouse Road in Warren.

As part of this $6 million project, RIDOT will also replace the existing culverts with three 10-ft x 10-ft box culverts at the request of the Town of Warren, according to a press release. The Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) is removing the dam from the Kickemuit River that created the Upper Kickemuit Reservoir also known as the Warren Reservoir.

The dam is located just north of the intersection of Schoolhouse Road and Serpentine Road. Flooding on Schoolhouse Road has been a problem for many years, RIDOT says. Removing the dam, elevating Schoolhouse Road, and resizing the culverts will alleviate this problem and provide an alternative evacuation route for the eastern part of Warren.

"We are very pleased to see RIDOT moving forward with this project," BCWA Executive Director Stephen Coutu said in a statement. "The improvements to Schoolhouse Road, coupled with the dam removals, will restore the Kickemuit River as a tidal estuary which will provide for lasting and sustainable ecological benefits."

The paving rehabilitation part of the Birch Swamp Road and Schoolhouse Road project encompasses a 2.6-mile two-lane suburban/rural corridor. Of the 2.6 miles, about 2.4 miles will have the road structure reclaimed by putting in a processed asphalt stabilized base course and then a cover of hot-mix asphalt. This will repair the worn out and failed base problems under the existing asphalt, RIDOT says. The remaining 0.2-mile segment at the Kickemuit Reservoir Causeway will include a full-depth reconstruction that will raise the elevation of Schoolhouse Road to accommodate the larger culverts and eliminate flooding.

The project will be complete in December of 2022.

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SOURCE: Rhode Island DOT