WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — With the end of the road in sight for the massive $71 million Apponaug Circulator overhaul project, covering 12 acres and having re-routed roads and even the Apponaug River — state and city leaders toured the site Friday to check out its progress.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said development of the circulator has been needed for a long time, “about 44 years in the making,” he said. And, he and his colleagues and the developers are especially happy because it’s on budget and on time.
Peter Alviti, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, said the circulator has been built to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. As part of that, a portion of the river had to be relocated for better environmental and storm water management.
Traffic routing should be finished by October 2016, according to the project’s director. Everything will be complete by September 2017.
The circulator has to move 25,000 a day through the heart of the city past the City Hall. The scope has been immense, going far beyond removing traffic lights or laying down new asphalt. There’s also new landscaping, sidewalks, curbs and more — with plenty of new areas for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Sen. Jack Reed said the project’s completion is expected to help revitalize the entire area, especially historic Apponaug Village.
“It’s sometimes called the Apponaug Bypass,” said Sen. Reed, “but in reality it will ensure that Apponaug is not bypassed — that it becomes a destination.”
Support for the project has come from every level of government, Avedisian said, adding that though the price tag was hefty, it will be money well spent.
“This is a huge win-win for the city, for the state, for economic development, for the environment, for business, for labor. And that’s not very often that we get to say, ‘what a wonderful project’ — that brings the entire community together,” he said.