Grant to restore bus shelter gives Broad Street renewal head start

Grant to restore bus shelter gives Broad Street renewal head start

The Valley Falls bus shelter near Cumberland Town Hall is set to receive a $60,000 makeover. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

CUMBERLAND – A $60,000 Community Development Block Grant will be used to restore and repair the Valley Falls bus shelter on Broad Street, a precursor of sorts to the larger transformation of the three-community corridor next year.

Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray last week announced that the town received the funding to restore the bus shelter, located just north of Town Hall and not far from the Central Falls city line.

The shelter was originally designed by landscape architect Don Leighton and built as part of the $1.8 million restoration of Heritage Park between 1994 and 1995. In recent years, the brick and granite structure has experienced some deterioration and its roof was vandalized. The CDBG grant of $60,000 will allow the town of Cumberland to perform necessary repairs.

“This is excellent timing for Valley Falls” said Murray in a statement. “This project will dovetail nicely with RIDOT’s reconstruction of Broad Street next year that will include drainage improvements and street trees.”

Jonathan Stevens, director of planning and community development for the town, said the work will restore the shelter to its original condition. The estimate is based off of consultation with the staff at the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.

Cost factors, according to Stevens, include custom design features, a heavy grade for materials, specialized work, and the likely need to replace the entire copper-clad roof.

Cumberland also received another $31,796 to expand education and training opportunities for Project LEARN. A $24,568 grant will enable Project LEARN to provide 16 moderate to low income adults with English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to enhance their ability to improve employment opportunities. The town’s administrative staff time will be offset by $7,228 in CDBG funding.

“This is a very competitive process. I am proud that Cumberland is now able to fund these worthy initiatives” he said.

The state is planning the reconstruction of Broad Street through Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket.

According to Charles St. Martin, spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the Broad Street regeneration project is in the final design phases, and is expected to start next spring. It will take about two construction seasons to complete the job, ending in late 2020, he said.

The cost of the project, tabbed at $11.5 million, encompasses three miles of Broad Street from Exchange Street in Pawtucket, through Central Falls, and ending at Mendon Road in Cumberland. It represents a combination of two projects, said St. Martin, a resurfacing project and a streetscape improvement project aimed at making the street safer and more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition to resurfacing, the project will involve new curbing and sidewalks, new traffic signals, drainage work, some new street trees and bike lanes.

Jillian Finkle, former coordinator for the Broad Street regeneration initiative, an initiative designed to make the most out of the reconstruction project for the revitalization of the corridor, told The Breeze she accepted a full-time position in May with the Central Falls Planning Department.

The Broad Street committee is currently searching for a new coordinator, and hopes to have someone in place in the next couple of weeks, she said.

Finkle said she’s been doing her best to keep the initiative moving forward, but has been very busy. She plans to remain the Central Falls representative on the project.

Comments

Has anyone ever looked in that bus stop it is disgusting .People have urinated and defecated in it, it should be demolished.Try using a bench where someone wont be able to hide from the public eye.