The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority has secured millions in federal financing to upgrade the Gateway Center on America's Cup Avenue. The funds will be used for exterior repairs and improvements to the transit and visitor's center, which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.
According to the state's Congressional delegation, the funding represents an expansion of an earlier $1.6 million grant. That grant led to a design process that revealed more work would be needed to "improve passenger protection and reduce flooding" at the site.
“Every cloud has its silver lining,” commented Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano in an official announcement of the grant.
The total project is expected to cost $6.6 million, with the remaining funding coming from the City of Newport. City and state officials described the Gateway Center as one of the state's major transit hubs, providing bus and shuttle access to many of Newport's tourist attractions and to Providence and other destinations.
Plans to improve the facility include a new roof, new sidewalks and a "rain garden" to filter storm runoff.
"With the increased federal funding, the project will be able to better support City and State goals for green infrastructure," said RIPTA CEO Raymond Studley.
The Gateway Visitor's Center is maintained by the tourism marketing organization Discover Newport.