Hope Street re-opens with a ceremony
A gathering of political and business leaders as well as state and town officials turned out Friday morning in front of the Burnside building on Hope Street to celebrate the completion of the Hope Street construction project. Earlier in the day, the road was re-opened to two-way traffic.
“Good things come to those who wait,” said Town Administrator Diane Mederos who addressed the crowd. “It was a daunting task to say the least.”
Rhode Island Department of Transportation director, Michael Lewis, commended the cooperative efforts of all involved.
“Whenever you do a job in a community, people are impacted,” he said. “We appreciate you putting up with us.”
Bristol Merchant’s Association member and business owner, Linda Arruda, noted the significance of the street name with regard to the project.
“Thirteen years ago we sent a letter to support the project. Then we hoped … and hoped,” she said. “Today we can say ‘at last’.”
Ms. Arruda credited the town planning department staff, Diane Williamson and Edward Tanner, for sheparding the project to fruition.
Mr. Lewis noted that the Hope Street project has been on his to do list since he became director, thanks to former state representative, Douglas Gablinske who “pushed DOT to address roadway issues in town.”
In presenting a commendation to Mr. Lewis, Ms. Mederos expressed her appreciation to DOT for taking on the $3 million project, using available federal funds to enhance the town. She commented on the significance of Hope Street.
“It was, and always will be, north and south, our downtown,” she said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on the sidewalk to commemorate the project’s completion.