October 27, 2010

Rhode Island opens airport multi-modal facility


Photo courtesy of Chuck Aube, Rhode Island Department of Transportation.


A new intermodal transportation facility, Interlink, designed to improve convenience for airport users, the facility connects airplanes, trains, buses and cars was opened Wednesday at Warwick, R.I.-based T.F. Green Airport.

 

"By providing an alternative to driving on I-95 and surrounding roads and streets, this world-class facility will ease area traffic congestion, strengthen the airport's role as an economic hub for Rhode Island and improve convenience and safety for the thousands who rely on the airport each day," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

 

The InterLink, one of the state's largest transportation projects, connects people with several options for getting where they need to go, including a consolidated rental car facility, serving both the airport and, later this year, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter trains traveling between Providence, Warwick and Boston. It also provides for the area's first-ever connection between local bus service and the airport, rail service and rental cars.

 

The project's 1,200-foot-long Skywalk spans the airport's upper level and connects to the airport terminal at the third floor. It uses high-efficiency glass, heating and ventilation and light fixtures to help keep energy costs low.

 

The InterLink also features a six-level garage with 2,600 parking spaces and a fueling platform for rental cars. Pre-casting its nearly 3,500 concrete pieces in Connecticut and assembling them on site reduced construction time and improved the garage's overall quality.

 

The Federal Highway Administration provided $124.6 million in direct funding for the InterLink — formerly known as the Intermodal Facility — and the U.S. DOT provided a $42 million loan from its Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, totaling more than half of the project's $267 million cost. The remainder of the project's funds came from user fees and state matching grants and bonds.

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