PROVIDENCE, R.I. — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says a $900,000 federal grant has been awarded to renovate a century-old bus tunnel in Providence.

The nearly 2,000-foot long East Side Bus Tunnel connects Thayer Street on the east side of Providence to downtown Providence.

Reed says the Federal Transit Administration funding may be used to lay the groundwork for needed repairs and long-term upgrades to enhance bus traffic safety and operational efficiency.

He says it serves nearly 10 percent of Rhode Island Public Transit Authority riders.

Reed recently toured the tunnel with RIPTA officials.

RIPTA says the tunnel is structurally sound, but requires repair due to water damage and cracking in the liner. It also needs an updated drainage system.

Nearly 1,700 buses travel through it weekly.

It was built for streetcars in 1914.