Infrastructure in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Infrastructure Overview

While the nation’s infrastructure earned a “D+” in the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, Rhode Island faces infrastructure challenges of its own. For example, driving on roads in need of repair in Rhode Island costs each driver $810 per year, and 24.9% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in Rhode Island are an estimated $148.2 million, and wastewater needs total $1.92 billion. 96 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $241 million. This deteriorating infrastructure impedes Rhode Island’s ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Success in a 21st century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, Rhode Island, and families can no longer afford.

Key Facts about Rhode Island's Infrastructure


6 public-use airports


192 (24.90%) of the 772 bridges are structurally deficient

Bridge Funding

$93,870,443 spent on state bridge capital projects in 2013

Dams with EAPS

14% of the state regulated dams have an Emergency Action Plan


96 high hazard dams

Drinking Water

$148.2 million in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years


4.3 Trillion BTU of renewable energy every year, ranking it 49th

Hazardous Waste

12 sites on the National Priorities List

Inland Waterways

40 miles of inland waterways, ranking it 39th


4 miles of levees


8.8 million short tons of cargo in 2012, ranking it 36th nationally

Public Parks

$4.72 million of unmet needs for its parks system


19 miles of freight railroads across the state, ranking 50th nationally


6,046 miles of Public Roads, with 54% in poor condition

Road Costs

$810 per motorist per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repair


$241 million gap in estimated school capital expenditures


18,476,860 annual unlinked passenger trips via transit systems including bus, transit, and commuter trains


$1.92 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years

Key Solutions

Our nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable if we have leadership and commit to making good ideas a reality. Raising the grades on our infrastructure will require that we seek and adopt a wide range of solutions.

We can no longer afford to defer investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure systems.

Leadership & Planning

Smart investment will only be possible with leadership, planning, and a clear vision for our nation’s infrastructure.

Preparing for the Future

We have to utilize new approaches, materials, and technologies to ensure our infrastructure is more resilient.

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Download the Full 2017 Infrastructure Report Card
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