The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) plans to launch its first-ever statewide inventory of highway drainage systems. RIDOT estimates that it is responsible for 25,000 stormwater catch basins, 2000 outfalls, and 100 structural stormwater controls. However, this new endeavor will be the state’s first full inspection and inventory of its system. This inventory will be an ongoing effort to better meet state and federal stormwater regulations and make necessary infrastructure improvements to reduce flooding.

Inventorying these assets will help RIDOT take a proactive approach to cleaning and maintaining stormwater controls — rather than just responding to reports of flooding and damaged drainage systems. The comprehensive inventory is part of a larger asset management approach to track infrastructure needs. This asset management program will enable RIDOT to bring its drainage system into a state of good repair while strategically planning for its long-term upkeep.

This work will help protect Rhode Island’s abundant water resources, including Narragansett Bay and hundreds of lakes, ponds, and rivers. Additionally, improved drainage systems will help to prevent road closures during wet weather and prolong the life of Rhode Island’s roads.

A new drainage crew within RIDOT’s Highway & Bridge Maintenance Division will improve maintenance activities. The crew will focus entirely on the state’s highway drainage system. Currently, this is just one of many responsibilities for its existing crews.