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By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Economic Development Corporation Monday night approved issuing bonds to buy the former Interstate 195 land in Providence and dredge the channel leading to the Port of Davisville in North Kingstown.
The $42 million I-195 bond will pay for the transfer of 40 acres of Jewelry District land uncovered by the removal of the highway overpass from the state Department of Transportation to the Interstate 195 District Redevelopment Commission.
The Commission has been tasked with finding the best way to redevelop the land and spur knowledge-based economic activity in Providence.
“With the bond approval, the I-195 Commission now has the financial ability to acquire the land and provide DOT with the ability to initiate the final and critically important phase of the I-Way project – reconnection of city streets and infrastructure,” said Colin P. Kane, chairman of the I-195 Commission.
“More importantly, we want to get shovels in the ground and cranes in the sky,” added Kane.
The $7.5 million Davisville bond will pay for dredging the channel leading to the Davisville pier to a depth of 32 feet, expanding the port’s capacity. The bonds will be paid back by the Quonset Development Corporation.