ROADS/BRIDGES: Rhode Island DOT gets tough on road restoration

RIDOT turns its attention to addressing road conditions following severe winter

March 17, 2015

Now that winter looks to be finally on the wane, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is left with the task of assessing and addressing the state of its state-maintained roads and bridges—this coming after what has been characterized as the second-snowiest winter season in Rhode Island’s history.

The severity of the winter caused the rapid decline of many of the state’s roads; consequently, RIDOT has begun implementing an aggressive program to bring its roads back from the brink of danger and inefficiency.

Anywhere from 50 to 70 crew members are being deployed on a daily basis, tasked with applying approximately 20 tons of patching material, efforts that will soon be augmented by on-call pothole patching services. Additionally, RIDOT has begun compiling an inventory of roads in need of immediate attention and intervention. In coordination with local agencies throughout the state, RIDOT seeks communal support for near-term repairs and restorations.

"Rhode Islanders have endured a tough winter," Governor Gina Raimondo was quoted as saying. "As the grass begins to peak through the melted snow, our state roads are beginning to show the wear and tear of Rhode Island's severe winter weather. My administration is committed to tackling our poor road conditions with urgency in order to restore the damage caused these past few months."

The state’s initiative is further engaged with a new protocol for dealing with addressable issues such as potholes by accepting bids for on-call pothole patching services that utilize the latest spray-injection technology to perform the repairs more efficiently, cost-effectively and safely, while ensuring a longer-lasting fix. Truck-mounted, spray-injector patchers are capable of cleaning away debris and filling a pothole in minutes, allowing traffic to reassume the roadway immediately once the pothole is repaired, minimizing the disruption to travel that is typical with more conventional pothole operations.

"It is not enough to address potholes; we need a systemic approach to addressing the longstanding issues that have been hindering travel in this state for quite some time," RIDOT Director-Designee Peter Alviti Jr., said. "And we have to work together. The condition of our roadways is an important part of our state's economic health. These actions we are taking – and those to follow in the coming months – help us further the Governor's mission to keep Rhode Island moving and better position it for economic growth."