Highway administrator tours Routes 6 & 10 project

Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack (center) shares a laugh while touring the 6/10 interchange project in Providence July 14, 2022 with (from left) Rhode Island Federal Highway Administrator Carlos Machado, Eva-Marie Mancuso, Special Assistant to the Governor and Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

The long-running, $410 million project to overhaul the highway interchange between Routes 6 and 10 through the Olneyville section of project got a visit Thursday from a top federal transportation official, as Stephanie Pollack talked up construction funded in the bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden.

Pollack, deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration said the government is funding about 80% of new highway construction, states and municipalities pay for the rest.

“In addition to the formula programs that all the states like Rhode Island get that increased about 20% on average with the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure law by President Biden, we also have a lot of grant programs, and I know that Rhode Island is eager and ready to complete,” said Pollack, the former Massachusetts Transportation Secretary.

Accompanied by Gov. Dan McKee, Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, Rhode Island Transportation Director Peter Alviti and others, she walked a short distance along a stretch of pavement that will become an access ramp from southbound Route 10 to westbound Route 6, south of Tobey Street, a key ramp that has been closed during part of the project, which is slated for completion in 2024.

The tour took place not far from crumbling bridges carrying Route 6 over Olneyville, where then Governor Gina Raimondo announced a $4.8 billion dollar infrastructure improvement plan labeled RhodeWorks.

In response to a reporter’s question, Pollack acknowledged that the sprawling interchange will continue to separate Olneyville from the West End. She pointed to what she called a good community process to plan the project, which included construction of pedestrian sidewalks on bridges over the highways.

A section of the under-construction interchange linking Routes 10 and 6 in Providence. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News