Rhode Island

Top Three Infrastructure Concerns:

  1. Bridges
  2. Drinking Water
  3. Roads

Key Infrastructure Facts

  • 57% of Rhode Island’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  • There are 95 high hazard dams in Rhode Island. A high hazard dam is defined as a dam whose failure would cause a loss of life and significant property damage.
  • 2 of Rhode Island’s 643 dams are in need of rehabilitation to meet applicable state dam safety standards.
  • 98% of high hazard dams in Rhode Island have no emergency action plan (EAP). An EAP is a predetermined plan of action to be taken including roles, responsibilities and procedures for surveillance, notification and evacuation to reduce the potential for loss of life and property damage in an area affected by a failure or mis-operation of a dam.
  • Rhode Island’s drinking water infrastructure needs an investment of $403 million over the next 20 years.
  • Rhode Island ranked 45th in the quantity of hazardous waste produced and 37th in the total number of hazardous waste producers.
  • Rhode Island’s ports handled 11 million tons of waterborne traffic in 2005, ranking it 34th in the nation.
  • Rhode Island reported an unmet need of $8.7 million for its state public outdoor recreation facilities and parkland acquisition.
  • 68% of Rhode Island’s roads were rated in poor or mediocre condition.
  • 37% of Rhode Island’s major urban highways are congested.
  • Vehicle travel on Rhode Island’s highways increased by 23 percent from 1990 to 2007.
  • Rhode Island has $1.16 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs.


*Survey of the state’s ASCE members conducted in September 2008

Deficient Bridge Report, Federal Highway Administration, 2008.
National Inventory of Dams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2008.
Drinking Water Needs Survey and Assessment, Environmental Protection Agency, 2003.
National Biennial RCRA Hazardous Waste Report, Environmental Protection Agency, 2007.
The U.S. Waterway System – Transportation Facts, Navigation Data Center, U.S Army Corps of Engineers, February 2007.
2007 Annual Report, Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Program, National Park Service.
TRIP Fact Sheet, March 2009.
Clean Water Needs Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, 2004.