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is the culmination of more than a decade of work from a collaboration of state and local officials, transit, bus transit, and railroad stakeholders. It will fulfill a need for commuters traveling to Boston in the north and to Providence, T.F. Green and Wickford in the south. The station will also provide a seamless intermodal connection between MBTA commuter rail service and RIPTA local bus service.
The rail-bus station will serve an existing ridership that lacks robust transit choices. Many area residents drive to commuter rail stations in Attleboro and South Attleboro, Massachusetts. Ridership studies estimate this station will attract 520 daily boardings.
The estimated cost for this project is $47 million with more than 20 percent coming from state and local funds.
A major benefit of this project will be transit-oriented development in this area of Pawtucket/Central Falls. The Commuter Rail Station will strengthen existing efforts to spur development in this area of Pawtucket/Central Falls. The project will open up new direct access to two million square feet of potential development at the historic mill complex that the two cities are working together to rehabilitate.
Not only will the station, intermodal connectivity and pedestrian access help catalyze transit-oriented development, but it will also set the stage for even higher levels of future transit mode share for both residents and workers at this site.
The Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Station and Bus Hub will be constructed and operated by a collaborative partnership that includes the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), the City of Pawtucket, and the City of Central Falls.
Construction will be led by Barletta Heavy Division, Inc., and delivered through a design-build process that will expedite construction and navigate through the complexities of building a new train station along the Northeast Corridor, one of the busiest stretches of passenger rail in the country. The contractor will build the new bus hub simultaneously. Originally envisioned as two separate projects, RIDOT, with RIPTA, included construction for both modes of travel in its request for proposals (RFP).
The budget for this project is $47 million, and includes funding from a combination of sources including a highly competitive $13.1 million grant through the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and a $7 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to RIPTA for the bus hub component. State funds amount to $5.9 million, and the communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls are also providing funding to the project, jointly contributing $3 million.
The timeframe accommodates limited construction time periods along Amtrak’s busy rail corridor, with much of the work only taking place during overnight hours when trains are not running. RIDOT expects that service would begin in Summer 2022 after a thorough testing and commissioning period led by the MBTA to ensure smooth operations and passenger safety.
The bus hub component is scheduled to open by the end of 2022. This would relocate RIPTA’s bus hub from its current location on Roosevelt Avenue in Pawtucket. The project also includes construction of a Transit Emphasis Corridor, which will create dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes along Exchange Street and Goff Avenue, linking the new transit facility to the heart of Downtown Pawtucket.
This past month, work was completed on the pedestrian ramp from the bus hub to the pedestrian bridge. The elevator tower steel has been set and installation of structural steel for the pedestrian bridge will continue this month, with curbing, electrical and communication conduits through November.