President Clinton last week signed a federal transportation-spending bill that includes $23.1 million for Rhode Island transportation projects.
The money is earmarked for specific transportation projects here and is in addition to the state's $143 million cut of normal federal highway and mass transit spending, state Department of Transportation Director Bill Ankner said.
The final version of the transportation appropriations bill for fiscal 2000 cruised through the U.S. House of Representative 304-91 on Oct. 1. The U.S. Senate passed the bill three days later 88-3.
The legislation specifies, among other local projects, $10 million for freight rail improvements, $6.5 million for T.F. Green Airport improvements and $3.3 million for new Rhode Island Public Transportation Administration buses.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed considers the money set aside for the Ocean State this year a good haul given the budget constraints facing the state congressional delegation.
"This is a year in which we've been able to secure many projects," the …