The Wickford Junction/North Kingstown Station in Rhode Island, which received $4.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars will receive an additional $13.6 million New Starts grant to extend existing commuter rail service an additional 20 miles from Providence to Boston starting in 2012.
“This is exactly the kind of project the Recovery Act was intended to jump-start,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Construction of this station means jobs now and better access to employment opportunities in the two largest cities in New England when the project is complete.”
“The Recovery Act is moving projects like this one from plans on the shelf to shovels in the ground, creating jobs now-precisely when we need them,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, who was in attendance for groundbreaking ceremonies today.
Administrator Rogoff also announced a milestone for another project being planned on the Providence to Boston commuter rail line. The Pawtucket Station project was recently approved to begin preliminary engineering. The project involves building a rail station north of Providence and will augment existing service. The Pawtucket Station, expected to cost $53.9 million, is also being considered for a total of $24.9 million in federal New Starts funding.
The projects are part of the South County Commuter Rail Project, a 20-mile rail extension along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor from Providence to the South County Region sponsored and managed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. These federal investments will help improve and will build upon existing commuter rail service to Providence.
The Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program provides federal funding for locally planned and implemented transit projects, including commuter rail, light rail, heavy rail, bus rapid transit, streetcars and ferries.