The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it has been chosen to receive $312,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as one of 35 participants in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Climate Challenge Initiative. 

The Climate Challenge Initiative provides funding, training, and technical assistance to help state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other public sector stakeholders explore the use of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

RIDOT says in a press release that it won the funds for its proposal to use permeable pavement on North Road in Jamestown. Research has shown that using permeable pavement on road surfaces that flood frequently, like North Road, may disperse the water more quickly and limit flooding in the adjacent community, according to RIDOT. 

The project will resurface a 2,000-foot section of the road with permeable pavement. The project area crosses Great Creek, a tidal marsh that often overtops North Road rendering a key north-south route on the island impassable to most vehicles for a quarter-mile stretch. The project will demonstrate the viability of using permeable pavement as a way to mitigate the impacts of coastal flooding on low-lying roads, says RIDOT.

The pilot project will also help RIDOT understand how standard road maintenance activities like snow plowing might be affected by this type or road surface. The total cost to implement is expected to be $1 million.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.