RICHMOND — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has begun painting stripes and making other safety improvements to several smaller roads in Richmond, Hopkinton and Charlestown. The project, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, is an initiative of the High Risk Rural Roads program.
The roads to receive improvements include: Baker Pines Road, Beaver River Road, Carolina Alton Road (Route 91), Heaton Orchard Road, Kingstown Road (Route 138), a section of Old Shannock Road, Richmond Townhouse Road, Shannock Hill and Skunk Hill Road.
Scott Barber, Richmond public works director, told members of the Town Council at their July 15 meeting that the work would begin in the coming weeks.
“Within the next month or so, you’re going to see a solid yellow line painted on those roads. I know that some people feel that those should be left un-striped, country roads, but under the state guidelines, they fell into the hazard categories, so that’s why the work’s being done,” he said.
Rose Amoros, spokeswoman for the transportation department, said the project would be completed this fall.
“Through a $1.4 million contract with Roadsafe Traffic Systems Inc., we are addressing approximately 150 miles of rural roads statewide, including portions of Route 112 in Charlestown and Richmond, Route 138 in Hopkinton, and Route 91 in Alton/Bradford and Hopkinton,” she said.
The improvements are designed to define the edges and centers of rural roads and help deter motorists from drifting out of their lanes of travel.
“The goal of this project is to improve safety on these roadways by adding items such as signing, striping, rumble strips and curb treatments,” Amoros said.
“These measures can help motorists better define the lanes of travel while driving and help reduce the likelihood of drifting off the road. It is important to note that this project is part of a larger shift in the industry toward making systemic safety improvements along travel corridors and evaluating common roadway characteristics versus making one-off improvements based on crash rates at an individual location. Because the emphasis is on addressing roadway features, the improvements made have the potential to benefit motorists statewide.”