Governor Dan McKee, Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr., North Providence Mayor and Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns President Charles Lombardi, Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns Executive Director Ernie Almonte, and municipal leaders gathered today at the North Providence Department of Public Works to highlight the proposed #RIReady Municipal Road Fund Program in Governor McKee’s FY24 budget. This grant program will make $20 million available to fund important road, bridge, and sidewalk projects on locally maintained city and town roads.
Governor McKee designed the program to help local communities, who often struggle to set aside enough capital improvement funds in their budgets to properly maintain their transportation infrastructure. The program uses federal American Rescue Plan funds to leverage municipal investments to get more road paving projects done across the state.
“As the State works to repair roads and bridges to improve Rhode Island’s national infrastructure rankings, we want to provide support to our municipalities to do the same. This must be a team effort if we want to get results – the RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program can help us get it done,” said Governor Dan McKee.
“This program puts power in the hands of our municipal leaders to make major investments in their roads and sidewalks. That’s important for the safety of our drivers, cyclists, and walkers, as well as the security the thousands of Main Street business on rely on municipal road maintenance to keep their storefront accessible,” said Lt. Governor Matos. “Over the next three years, this investment is going to make a major difference on the roads Rhode Islanders travel on every day, and I look forward to working with every community to make it a success!”
The program works with each city and town providing 67 percent of the project costs with the State matching the remaining 33 percent. With this level of local investment, the fund can make up to $60 million available for local road projects.
“By combining local capital improvement dollars, we can take each city or town’s investment of two-thirds of the project cost and match the one-third to help make a project they couldn’t quite afford possible, or to accelerate it so their much needed local road repair projects can happen sooner,” said Director Alviti.
About 80 percent of all the miles of roads in Rhode Island – about 5,000 miles – are maintained by cities and towns. RIDOT maintains the balance, with approximately 1,100 miles of state roads under its jurisdiction. According to the most recent annual pavement data submitted to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly half of all municipal roads are in poor condition.
“The League of Cities and Towns appreciates the Governor’s commitment to municipalities and the work we are doing locally to serve all Rhode Islanders,” said Executive Director Almonte. “Municipal dollars are stretched thin; in many cases communities don’t have access to the resources to begin upgrading 5,000 miles of local roads. The Municipal Road Fund will improve safety and the quality of local roads, of particular importance as we look to increase housing and improve quality of life across the state.”
Of the $20 million available in the fund, $15 million will be divided equally among each city and town ($384,615 each). The remaining $5 million will be distributed proportionally to municipalities based on the miles of roads in each community. Cities and towns with more roads will be able to seek more funding.
The grant program will contain accountability measures, including a quarterly reporting requirement. Municipalities using the grant funds will report on each project’s progress, contract award dates, contract values and anticipated completion dates. All projects must be completed by the end of 2026.