Climate, Public Infrastructure and Administration

The consequences of climate change are clear in Rhode Island, with encroaching waters threatening the communities that dot the hundreds of miles of shoreline and those with rivers prone to frequent flooding. Home to the country's first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island must leverage its position as a key player in this growing industry by increasing capacity to accommodate what the industry needs. Other solutions involve changes at the household level

The pieces that make up infrastructure in the 21st century bring people together in an increasingly interconnected world. Further investments in infrastructure, particularly digital technologies, are important for Rhode Island to compete in an environment where distance is no longer a divide.

Pandemic Recovery Office ($16.95 million)

The State is using 1.5% of its SFRF allocation for the operating costs of the Pandemic Recovery Office, which serves as the central office for policy coordination and compliance for federal COVID-19 stimulus funds.

R-Line Free Service Pilot ($2.5 million)

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is implementing a free fare pilot on the R-Line – a route from Pawtucket through Providence that accounts for RIPTA’s heaviest ridership. The funds will offset lost revenue, pay for additional services in case of increased demand, provide for the installation of passenger counters on the buses, and pay for a consultant to complete studies on the pilot. Funds will also support lost revenue and additional costs for paratransit services that operate within three-quarters of a mile of the R-Line.

Broadband Mapping and Planning ($0.5 million)

The project is making it possible to pay for a statewide broadband coordinator, build the broadband maps needed to complete the necessary strategic planning, and complete a statewide broadband strategic plan to guide future work. These three foundational elements are necessary to unlock and utilize additional federal funding being designated for broadband. Specifically, the funding is budgeted for the following:

  • $100,000 for a state broadband director 
  • $200,000 to coordinate and develop a statewide strategic plan to provide broadband access to unserved and underserved households and businesses 
  • $200,000 to conduct broadband access mapping in support of future state broadband investments