The light at the end of the tunnel is good for Johnston


To the Editor:

As everyone in Johnston knows, Citizens Bank is in the midst of a significant investment in our town by constructing a new campus off Greenville Avenue. This project has created hundreds of construction jobs for local workers, and once completed, will house approximately 3,000 employees on site. More importantly, once finished, the project will upgrade local sewer and water lines and provide new annual tax revenue to the town of Johnston.

I recognize that getting this project to completion has had its share of challenges. We have had harsh conditions this past winter and a wet spring that may be causing many difficulties on the Greenville Avenue Water Extension Project in Johnston.

However, once completed, this vital development will bring sewer access to several thousand households in Rhode Island. Furthermore, this project will include the installation of a new water line to replace the old asbestos pipe, an upgrade to the current water pump station, and the addition of a million gallon water storage tank to improve water service to the area.

Mayor Joseph Polisena assumed the chief role of not only advocating for this important economic development, but for making sure that this project is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible to minimize the inconvenience to Rhode Island citizens. In my capacity as President of the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council, I know firsthand that the Mayor has been checking on progress daily with every major stakeholder and participant on this project.

As difficult as the process has been to date, there have also been significant accomplishments, and with summer almost here the new season will bring better weather and working conditions which will facilitate even more progress. It certainly has been a tough road, literally, for commuters in and out of the Greenville Avenue area, but we are almost finished, and the end result will undoubtedly be worth your patience and perseverance.

These projects are complicated undertakings that require the cooperation of hundreds of tradesmen and women, construction managers, engineers, architects, company representatives, as well as members of our state and local government agencies. Yet, the advantages from the newly paved roads, improved access to sewer lines, enhanced water service and pressure, and new tax revenue makes every industrious effort completely worthwhile for our community.

And this is only the beginning! The Citizens Bank campus in Johnston will stand to serve as a construction model for the workplace of the future. Residents of the town and surrounding areas are welcome to enjoy the walking loops and nature trails built on location, and the campus will excitingly feature a new sporting complex, including: a little league softball field, soccer field, volleyball court, tennis court, two basketball courts and two bocce courts, all open for town use.

As a lifelong Johnstonian, I would like to thank Citizens Bank for making it a company policy to utilize local businesses and encourage their employees to be local consumers, emphasizing the real value that their new campus holds for our community. To the hundreds of Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council men and women that I represent working on the project, to Mayor Polisena, and to the many, many stakeholders involved, including our signatory contractors, I thank you all for your professionalism and your commitment to this exciting development.

And to the Johnston community, thank you all for your continuing patience and support, for we know the temporary inconvenience construction projects can cause. Yet, we can all feel proud that such new and innovative projects are being created right here in our own backyard that provide great work opportunities for our tradesmen and women and gainful business opportunities for our contractors, which benefit the entire Rhode Island economy and will have a positive impact on our future quality of life.

Michael F. Sabitoni


RI Building and Construction Trades Council


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