Monday, January 04, 2010

RIDOT purchases land for station, parking garage

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Rhode Island's planned extension of commuter rail service from Boston and Providence to Warwick and North Kingstown is on track.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), with approval from the State Properties Committee, completed the purchase of property needed for the Wickford Junction train station and parking garage. The purchase price for the land and easements located on Route 102 in North Kingstown, near its intersection with Route 4, was $3.2 million, of which 80 percent came from federal funds.

The Wickford project, along with the Warwick Intermodal Facility currently under construction, will provide the infrastructure necessary to support the initial start-up phase of the South County Commuter Rail Service. This service will extend existing Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority trains through Providence an additional 20 miles with stops at T.F. Green Airport and Wickford Junction. The new service is intended to provide an alternative mode of travel to the already congested I-95 and Route 4 corridor, which is the State's fastest growing region, and provide access to major employment, retail and recreational centers in Providence and Boston. MBTA is expected to add commuter rail stops at T.F. Green Airport in 2010 and at Wickford Junction in 2011.

Once built, Wickford Junction Station, with an estimated construction cost of $30 million, will feature a train station and platform along with a 1,100-space parking garage. It is expected that once construction begins it will take approximately 16 months to build the station and garage. Commuter rail service would start shortly after that. Daily ridership is projected to be approximately 1,750 passengers, with eight weekday round trips planned.

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