Highlighting Infrastructure Improvement Initiatives Throughout the City May 13-19
Monday, May 13, 2019
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mayor Jorge Elorza joined City Council President Sabina Matos, City Council Pro Temp Michael Correia and City officials to announce Providence Infrastructure Week, promoting the City’s investments in infrastructure with the goal of #BuildABetterPVD for all residents. As a part of this initiative, Providence will be highlighting several planned, ongoing and recently completed projects impacting city infrastructure. Providence residents will also have the opportunity to engage in several contests and events hosted by the City and partners.
“Being a city that works means having infrastructure that works for our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Instead of waiting until things break to fix them, we are being proactive about repairs and maintenance to roads, sidewalks and our public spaces. We believe that investments in these areas now pay dividends for our communities’ quality of life in the future.”
As a part of the week-long national advocacy and educational initiative, Providence Infrastructure Week will highlight infrastructure improvements included in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), approved in 2017. This first-of-its-kind comprehensive plan provides a five-year program of planned improvements to the City’s public infrastructure funded by the Capital Improvement Budget. In the last two years, the City has invested $58.5 million throughout the City in road improvements, recreations centers, parks, and playgrounds. Over the next five years, Providence, through the CIP, is proposing to invest:
- More than $103 million in public works improvements
- More than $50 million in public property
- More than $16 million in public realm and mobility improvements
- And more than $18 million in parks and recreation
“If you ask any local elected government official around the world what their greatest challenges are, the answer is almost always the same – infrastructure,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “The City Council through Neighborhood Infrastructure Funds, and with partnerships with Mayor Elorza’s administration around the Capital Improvement Plan, have allocated millions of dollars to make improvements to our streets, sidewalks, parks, schools, and public buildings. And still, we have more to do. The one constant in government is that technology and the world continue to move forward, but for city’s like Providence, whose infrastructure is nearing the 100-year mark, we are playing catch-up. Together, we are working to make Providence the greatest city of its size, and it is a goal that I know we can achieve.”
In addition to these investments, the City’s Great Streets initiative is changing the way the City conceptualizes street design to ensure that every street is safe, clean, and accessible. The Department of Planning and Development has led robust community outreach efforts to inform the Department’s ideas for street improvements. Recommendations made by community members have since been translated into a preliminary interactive map for the proposed Great Streets improvement projects and Urban Trail Network. These ideas will also be included in the Great Streets Master Plan, set for release this summer.
The City is also encouraging residents to be active participants in #BuildABetterPVD during Providence Infrastructure week. From May 13 to June 13, residents are challenged to participate in the #PVDPotholeHunt by identifying potholes on city streets and reporting them using the PVD311 application, calling 3-1-1, visiting the Mayor’s Center for City Services (MCCS) at Providence City Hall or via the PVD311 website. Once reported, participants will be entered in a drawing for potential prizes, including a Visa gift card of $311 and tickets to City attractions. Participants are required to provide contact information when submitting their request to be entered.
“This contest is a fun way to engage residents in building a better Providence as a community,” said Director of the Mayor’s Center for City Services Joe Lazzerini. “The more people who use the 311 app, call 3-1-1, visit the MCCS office to report issues and concerns or use the 311 website, the more efficiently we can provide those critical services. All Providence residents are encouraged to participate in this month-long opportunity.”
When reporting a problem, residents are encouraged to identify the hazards as one of the following types to be considered a valid submission for the #PVDPotHoleHunt.
- Potholes: round, irregularly bowl-shaped openings up to several inches deep. These typically occur when the asphalt surface of the road is broken up, exposing the road subsurface below.
- Sinkholes: large, deep washouts, with voids under the surrounding road surface. Occurs when dirt below the concrete base washes away, causing the asphalt to fall through.
- Failed Utility Patches: rectangular straight-edge utility excavations that wash out or sink in, leaving a depression in the road. The seams of utility patches are often the source of a pothole so the pothole within a defective utility patch may have irregular edges.
Events highlighting CIP projects and engaging residents are scheduled for the duration of Providence Infrastructure Week.
Scheduled Infrastructure Week Events:
DATE: Monday, May 13 through June 13
LOCATION: All Providence city streets
PRIZES: Grand Prize: $311 Visa gift card plus a package of 2 tickets to each*:
- RWP Botanical Center
- Roger Williams Park Zoo
- Roger Williams Park Zoo Zipline
- Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
- City Center Skating Rink, City Center Bumper Cars
*4 additional participants (1 per week) will have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to one of the above-listed attractions.
Residents are encouraged to report potholes on Providence streets using the PVD311 application, calling 3-1-1, visiting the Mayor’s Center for City Services at Providence City Hall or via the PVD311 website. Every pothole submitted between May 13 and June 13 will result in an entry into the contest, with each submission increasing a participant’s chances to win. Winners will be contacted using the phone number or email address provided and receive tickets to a local city attraction by mail or by picking them up at City Hall after being contacted. City employees and elected officials are not eligible for this contest.
Once per day during Infrastructure Week, the City will post photo-based trivia questions to Providence social media pages, encouraging residents to guess what infrastructure-related asset is being shown. Some may be historic images that have since been transformed, others may be close-up images of new infrastructure in Providence. Those who guess correctly will be entered into a drawing for a daily prize. Winners will be contacted via social media and receive tickets to a local city attraction by mail or by picking them up at City Hall after being contacted. City employees and elected officials are not eligible for this contest.
Little Roady Autonomous Vehicle Launch
DATE: Tuesday, May 14
TIME: 10:30 AM
LOCATION: Rhode Island Statehouse Plaza (Smith Street side)
Mayor Elorza will be joining Governor Raimondo and Rhode Island Department of Transportation to launch the first self-driving shuttles in Rhode Island. The fleet of electric vehicles offers rides along a fixed route in the Woonasquatucket River Corridor of Providence, expanding transportation in our neighborhoods.
Traffic Calming Media Availability
DATE: Thursday, May 16
LOCATION: At the intersection of Terrace Ave and Clarence St.
WHO: Mayor Jorge Elorza, City Council Representatives, City Department Representatives
Media availability to highlight traffic calming measures and plans citywide. More information will be released via media advisory on May 15.
Bike to Work Day (Hosted by Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition)
DATE: Friday, May 17
TIME: 7:00AM – 9:00AM
LOCATION: Burnside Park
Mayor Elorza will join community members and bicycle on one of the designated bike trains to participate in this year’s Bike To Work Day, ending in Burnside Park for a community celebration.