East Providence road construction begins shortly


EAST PROVIDENCE — Local motorists will eventually be satiated but likely slightly agitated at times in the coming weeks with the news much-needed road repairs throughout East Providence are to begin in short order.

Public Works Director Steve Coutu told the City Council at its meeting Tuesday evening, July 15, about the start of the process, which is expected the week of August 4. Mr. Coutu noted he still needs to iron out the work schedule with the winning bidder, the contracting firm of Cardi Corporation, though he expected to do that in the next few days. Cardi's bid was best of the six who answered the Request For Proposals from the city last month and accepted by the Council.

The City Council originally signed off on the repair plans presented to it in May by Acting City Manager Paul Lemont. The city has access to some $2.5 million in various forms of funding to make the necessary fixed.

Grove Avenue, where City Hall and the Weaver Library are located, will be refurbished through a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant.

Several roadways as well will be resurfaced through a City Bond Fund. Approximately $1.1 million is to be used for the following projects: Frederick Street; Thatcher Street; Nelson Street; Lyon Avenue (Fort to Orchard); Freeborn Avenue (N. Carpenter to Potter); Richfield Avenue (Clyde to end); Rice Avenue (Richfield to Townhouse); Townhouse (Rice to Richfield); Cumberland Road; Waterview Avenue (Pawtucket to Upland Road); Burnside Avenue (Willett to Griffith); Rhodes Avenue; Glenrose Avenue. Cardi's winning bid was $970,954.75.

The city will also be taking advantage to the tune of $1.2 million in funds from the State Road and Bridge Revolving Loan Fund championed by local lawmakers on Smith Hill and passed by the General Assembly last year.

The projects to be undertaken with these dollars are as follows: North Broadway (Roger Williams to Greenwood); Forbes Street; Commercial Way; Crescent View Avenue. Cardi Corporation's bid for this work was $1,083,305.50.

On a related topic, answering the concerns of a resident in attendance Tuesday about the right-on-red at the intersection of North Broadway and Roger Williams Avenue, Mr. Coutu said he will look into the matter. The resident claims the intersection is ripe for an accident as those drivers entering North Broadway from Roger Williams often fail to acknowledge the traffic signal.

As for other Public Works issues discussed Tuesday, Mr. Coutu, in response to Ward 2 representative Helder Cunha during the Council privilege portion of the meeting, said five part-time and one full-time laborer has been added to the highway division with direction to help cut and maintain grass and weeds in the city. Mr. Cunha was especially concerned with properly grooming the grounds around City Hall, traffic islands and sidewalks.

Mr. Coutu, also in response to Mr. Cunha, noted some 80 notices have been sent out to the owners of condemned or vacant properties in the city for failing to properly maintaining those parcels. The director told the Council property owners, who Mr. Lemont said could be banks as far as away as California in some cases, have 10 days to respond or take care of the matter. If not, the fines are issued.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.