Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 12-06-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | DECEMBER 6-12, 2018 CUMBERLAND 5 Laura Burkett's job is to make sure that many years of planning and a planned huge reconstruction project don't go to waste along Broad Street. Burkett, newly hired coordinator of the Broad Street Regeneration Initiative, reached out to roughly 200 business owners along the cor- ridor in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Cumberland as part of a Small Business Saturday effort to bring cus- tomers to the area. "It was really a way for us to test to see if we can get some cohesion and collaboration," she told The Breeze. "It was a low-risk kind of thing." Of the 200 businesses, 14 respond- ed that they wanted to be part of the promotional effort, giving a special offer for the day to be included on a flier. While there were reports of mixed results with this first event, the owner of Tony's Shoe Repair in Central Falls reported several new customers, which Burkett said is a significant win in that particular kind of business. As Burkett saw it, the Small Business Saturday promotion was "laying some groundwork" for show- ing businesses that those behind the Broad Street Regeneration Initiative care about their suc- cess. There will be some "tough growing pains" as the recon- struction of Broad Street moves forward next year, she said, and her role is to "come alleviate a lit- tle bit of that," work- ing to keep business owners' spirits up even as the roadway is torn up and redone. At a number of the businesses along the corridor, she utilizes her Spanish in speaking to the owners about their concerns. The Broad Street Regeneration Initiative has as its centerpiece a $11.5 million Rhode Island Department of Transportation proj- ect down Broad Street through Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Cumberland. RIDOT has hired VHB to do the engineering and design, which is due back by the end of the calendar year. The program will include road repaving, sidewalk improvements, green and stormwater infrastructure improvements, pedestrian and bike safety improvements, and traffic light improvements along Broad Street. Construction is anticipated to begin next spring. The $11.5 million will cover the reconstruction of a 3.2-mile stretch of Broad Street from Exchange Street in Pawtucket, through Central Falls, and ending at Mendon Road in Cumberland. It combines the resurfacing project and a streetscape improvement project. When completed, the Broad Street Regeneration Initiative will be out- standing for the area, say the mayors of the three communities included, with far better drainage, safer side- walks, street trees, and other modern additions. The Broad Street Regeneration Initiative has won a $50,000 grant to bring on new staff to continue driving the two-year-old project. The funding from the Rhode Island Foundation enabled the initiative to hire Burkett as project coordinator. "This grant is 40 percent more than we awarded last year. The increase in funding is a vote of con- fidence in what BSRI achieved last year and its potential to do even more," said Chris Barnett, senior communications and marketing offfi- cer at the Rhode Island Foundation. Burkett, a multi-lingual Pawtucket resident with 25-plus years of mar- keting and communications experi- ence, replaces Jillian Finkle, who left to become principal planner for the city of Central Falls. "The community grant awarded to BSRI by the Rhode Island New coordinator Burkett laying groundwork for vibrant Broad Street By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor BURKETT See BROAD STREET, Page 20 GREAT VALUE QUALITY SERVICE 36 BLACKSTONE STREET WOONSOCKET 401-766-3270 WWW.TERRYAUTOLTD.COM Gil & Meika 2011 NISSAN FRONTIER Automatic, 4x4, Extra Cab ........$11,999 2011 HYUNDAI SONATA HYBRID LOADED! 70K miles .................................$9,495 2010 FORD EDGE AWD, Loaded, 90K ....................................$8,495 2008 TOYOTA RAV 4 80K ....................................................................$8,495

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