The Department of Transportation was established in 1970 by statutory authority RIGL§42-13-1. This department replaced the Department of Public Works created by Chapter 5 § 38 of the 1938 General Laws and repealed by Chapter 111 § 1 of the Public Laws of 1970.
The Department of Transportation is responsible for the implementation of both short and long-term transportation improvements for the State of Rhode Island. Included in this effort is the maintenance of over 1,300 miles of roadways, 750 bridges and over 800 traffic signalization systems. The Department is also responsible for maintaining a continuing comprehensive transportation program by coordinating and performing planning functions for all modes of transportation.
The mission of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is to provide a safe, efficient, effective, environmentally, aesthetically and culturally sensitive intermodal transportation network that offers a variety of convenient, cost-effective mobility opportunities for people and the movement of goods supporting economic development and improved quality of life.