Senior lawmaker calls on state to halt welcome center plans

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A senior lawmaker is calling on the state to halt plans to build a new welcome center at the border with Connecticut.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation proposes building the welcome center and travel plaza at Exit 1 on Interstate 95 in Hopkinton.

Democratic Rep. Brian Kennedy, of Hopkinton, says it would threaten the town’s sole source aquifer for drinking water.

Kennedy, the most senior member of the House, wrote to the DOT on Wednesday, after the Hopkinton Town Council decided not to support constructing the facility in town.

Plans call for a welcome center that would provide tourist information, restrooms, gas and food, and serve as a park and ride facility and bus hub.

The state was awarded a $9 million federal grant for the $12 million project.

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