Pell Bridge Environmental Assessment
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How was the project purpose and need developed?
    The purpose and need for this Project were developed through various meeting with the key stakeholders of the project including RIDOT, RITBA, and the City of Newport. The RITBA has concerns with vehicles stopped in congestion on the Pell Bridge and the City of Newport anticipated to open area for developable land and make the area more walkable/bikeable to Downtown Newport. The three major stakeholders worked together to determine the major goals of the Project.
  2. Who will be funding this Project?
    This Project is programmed in RIDOT’s 10-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). The project will be funded through the RhodeWorks program and supplemented with federal funding provided by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).
  3. Will bicycle and pedestrian accommodations be included in this Project?
    Bicycle and pedestrian accommodations will be included throughout the project area and will be implemented in various improvements including a separated shared-use path, on-road bike lanes, new pedestrian signal equipment, and by creating a new local road network.
  4. How is this Project going to address traffic congestion, especially during tourist season?
    One of the purposes of the project is to minimize vehicle back-ups on the Pell Bridge and reduce the congestion throughout this interchange area. By providing more capacity for the off-ramps and new roadway connections, congestion has the potential to be reduced. In addition, a moveable barrier system is proposed along the Pell Bridge to allow for additional capacity when events are occurring in Downtown Newport.
  5. Will this Project address historic flooding areas and wetland issues?
    The historic flooding areas have been part of discussions since the beginning, especially when meeting with local business owners. The Proposed Alternatives for the Pell Bridge interchange are all proposed above the floodplain in order to minimize the opportunity for flooding.
  6. What will happen to the open land created by this Project?
    In 2017, the City of Newport completed an economic plan for their vision of this area of Newport. To create a “live, work, play” environment for the community, the City’s plan is to create an “Innovation District” with the land made available by this Project.
  7. Can I obtain copies of the public work shop materials and PowerPoint?
    The public workshop materials (including boards) and PowerPoint are available for download under the Documents section of this website.
  8. I couldn’t attend the public meeting, where can I submit my comments?
    Those that could not attend the public workshop can submit their comments online or by mail. Online comments can be submitted here. Comments submitted by mail may be sent to the following address:
    RIDOT c/o VHB
    1 Cedar Street, Suite 400
    Providence, RI 02903