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The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is accepting proposals from firms to design and build a new commuter-rail station in Pawtucket.The proposed Pawtucket-Central Falls Station would provide direct connections via Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) trains to the Providence, T.F. Green and Wickford Junction stations in Rhode Island, as well as numerous stops along the route to South Station in Boston.The new station would serve a "built-in ridership that lacks robust transit choices," RIDOT officials said in a press release. Many area residents have to drive to MBTA stations in Attleboro, Mass., to connect to the MBTA system.In addition, the new station's location would serve as a "prime center for increased transit-oriented economic development," RIDOT officials added.The $40 million project will be funded, in part, by a $13.1 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. The communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls, R.I., jointly are contributing $3 million toward the station.RIDOT expects to award a design-build contract in early summer, with groundbreaking anticipated in 2017. The station would open in late 2019.
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