The Fix the 6-10 Coalition thanks Governor Raimondo, Director Alviti, and Mayor Elorza for their hard work these last months, and congratulates them on reaching a new consensus plan for the reconstruction of the 6-10 Interchange. When this process began earlier this year, many residents from the surrounding neighborhoods and civic organizations were concerned with the possibility that the 6-10 would be reconstructed “as is” with all its many existing faults unaddressed. Through our campaign and the exemplary efforts of City staff over the past months, we are pleased to see that the proposed plan is much improved. While there are certainly aspects of the new plan which could be improved, we recognize the need for pragmatic compromise to help move our City and State forward.
Our Coalition formed to ensure that the many interests held by Rhode Islanders would be represented in the final design, including fiscal sustainability, neighborhood connections, environmental protection, balanced transportation choices, and economic and social development. These values came out loud and clear in the public engagement meetings hosted by the City this year and we are pleased to see that these values have positively influenced the proposed plan. The City’s process of public engagement, research, and creative design iteration is particularly commendable and we hope that it will serve as a model for improving future DOT public engagement processes.
The new plan features improved connections between neighborhoods, particularly at Tobey Street and around Olneyville Square, expanded access for people walking and biking in the City, creates the much needed connection between 10N and 6W, opens up new land for development and green space. With fewer overall bridges we also expect that the project will be less expensive to maintain in the long-run.
We thank Governor Raimondo for giving the City, RIDOT, and the neighborhoods time to improve the design of this important legacy infrastructure. We thank Mayor Elorza for sticking to his guns and demanding infrastructure that takes Providence forward. We thank Director Alviti and Director Nickerson again for the months of hard work and creative problem solving that went into this consensus plan.
We look forward to working with the City and the State in a collaborative, open, and transparent public engagement process this winter to further refine it and we will remain vigilant to ensure that the principles that have animated our movement continue to be reflected in the final plan through completion of construction.