2015-04-02 / Front Page

Broadway Work Imminent

By Barry Bridges

Newporters will begin to notice a steady uptick in activity along Broadway with the arrival of warmer weather.

Director of Public Services William Riccio provided an update for the streetscape project at a meeting of the Off Broadway Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, March 31. “Construction is imminent and we should start seeing things soon,” he reported.

Although final adjustments to the schedule are still being made, Riccio said that the contractor, Warwick’s Cardi Corp., will mobilize the necessary equipment in Newport during the next few weeks.

The heaviest construction will take place south of Equality Park, with crews beginning at Farewell Street and then moving up a short length of Marlborough before making their way north along Broadway. Work will be done in roughly 600 feet blocks in 45-day windows. “Traffic will always be moving, I just can’t guarantee that it will always be two ways,” said Riccio. “We will try to minimize oneway disruptions.”

In addition to a smoother road, the area is slated for new sidewalks, curbing, and raised crosswalks with bump-outs to make the corridor more pedestrian friendly. Front-end angled parking will remain a feature on the west side of the street. Bike lanes are not being added, but the improved thoroughfare will better accommodate bicycles, according to Riccio.

From Equality Park north to Bliss Road, the primary focus will be on repaving.

Compared to the deep digging that was required for utility improvements during the previous summers, Riccio said that the remaining work will be largely limited to the surface. This will ease some of the protection requirements mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

(OSHA) for crews doing underground jobs.

Construction will generally take place from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Although the city is taking a very active role, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation will be overseeing the effort. The department is planning a pre-construction meeting so that the community can meet the contractor and the RIDOT resident engineer. A tentative date has been set for April 16, contingent upon an available venue. As part of its public outreach, RIDOT will also be establishing an email list to more easily provide updates on the project.

The streetscape’s completion date is currently estimated to be November of 2016, but the city is hopeful that the timeline can be shortened if the weather cooperates.

“It’s going to be a long process, but we’ll get there,” Riccio pledged. “The end product will be well worth the growing pains.”

Return to top