Replace broken

Warwick’s infrastructure is critical to business growth, security and vitality

As we know, good infrastructure is essential not only for public health and safety, but also to ensure the continued growth and vitality of a community’s business development and economy. To that end, local and state level efforts help ensure that Warwick’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure assets are repaired or replaced.

Frank Picozzi

Warwick’s FY22 budget included funding for an $800,000 broadband initiative. Co-sponsored by the police department and the information technology department, the program also includes other city departments, including the public school system. Funding from the American Rescue Act also enabled the city to invest an additional $10 million in much-needed infrastructure expansion and upgrades to municipal water and sewer systems. The city is also investing in new equipment to replace aging and failing vehicles in a number of departments.

The state Department of Transportation is also making long overdue improvements and replacing roads and bridges across the state. Here in Warwick, a $25.3 million project, now complete, saw the complete reconstruction of the Centerville and Toll Gate overpasses on I-95. Elsewhere, crews are working on the replacement of the Division Street Bridge on the Warwick/East Greenwich line. This $22.9 million project includes the replacement of a bridge over Rte. 4 classified as deficient in ensuring the safe passage of the approximately 14,000 vehicles that pass through it every day.

Rte. 37 provides a critically important link between the towns of Warwick and Cranston, the interstate highways, and the many commercial, residential and office buildings near this east-west thoroughfare in both communities. It is also an important connection to Rhode Island TF Green International Airport, located in the heart of Warwick. This project, which began in 2020, involves improvements to 22 bridges, including substantial repairs or complete replacement, and aims to reduce congestion and improve the safety of the approximately 42,000 vehicles that cross the highway daily. The project, divided into two distinct phases, carries an expected total price of $164.5 million and is expected to be completed in 2023.

With over 80 retailers, 12 restaurants, the new 12-screen Apple Cinemas and other businesses on its property, Warwick Mall is a destination for local and out-of-town shoppers. The mall and the beautifully renovated Pontiac Mill, which offers a mix of residential and commercial uses across the street, draws thousands to the area, making a rehabilitation of Rte. Corridor 5 (Greenwich Ave./Lambert Lind Hwy.) very important. The $19.9 million project, currently underway, involves replacing the Pontiac Bridge – a four-lane structure that spans the Pawtuxet River – and improvements that include reconfiguring the Knight Street interchange to make it more convenient for area residents and travelers. Installation of new signs, sidewalks and curbs as well as resurfacing and other minor repairs are also part of the project. Its completion is scheduled for next year, providing better travel for the approximately 21,000 vehicles that pass through the area each day.

Elsewhere in town, the popular McDermott Pool has now reopened, after extensive repairs and renovations, and work is underway to repair the therapy pool, or “hot pool” as many residents call it. And an allocation of $200,000 is planned for each of Warwick City Council‘s nine wards. Councilors plan to hold ward meetings to solicit input from their constituents to determine how to best and most effectively allocate these resources – it’s all part of the community investment plan to benefit residents and businesses.

If you would like to learn more about Warwick, its services and business community, or if you are considering relocating here, please contact the Department of Economic Development at (401) 738-2014 or email [email protected]

Frank Picozzi is the mayor of the town of Warwick, RI