The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to close I-95 North Exit 28 (School Street) in Pawtucket on Sunday, September 11, 2011. The closure is necessary to allow for construction of a bridge structure that will temporarily service traffic on I-95 North during the construction of the new Pawtucket River Bridge.
The closure will occur after 9 p.m. on Sunday and be in place for approximately eight weeks. This will allow the Department to complete work as quickly as possible. Once Exit 28 reopens, additional work remains before RIDOT can temporarily shift all of the I-95 North traffic to the bridge in Winter 2011/2012.
The bridge now carrying I-95 North has an 18-ton weight limit, forcing trucks to use long detours via I-295 or Route 146, or local detours on city streets. With the opening of this new structure this winter, RIDOT will be able to eliminate the detour for I-95 North.
"We apologize for any disruption or delay that closing Exit 28 may cause," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "We want to eliminate the weight limit and get the truck traffic off the city streets as quickly as possible, and this closure will help us do that."
RIDOT will establish signed detour routes using Exit 27 (Downtown) or Exit 29 (Broadway/Cottage Street). Detailed information, including detour maps, will be available at RIDOT's website at www.dot.ri.gov.
The Department has been coordinating with the City of Pawtucket to identify businesses and events that attract large volumes of traffic. Memorial Hospital, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Pawtucket Arts Festival are among them. Separate detour maps for those seeking to reach those destinations also will be available on the RIDOT website.
"We look forward to working with our friends from the Department of Transportation to make coming to playoff games at McCoy as convenient as possible for our fans," said PawSox President Mike Tamburro.
Constructing a new Pawtucket River Bridge is a high priority for the Department. The bridge is being replaced through an $81 million contract with S&R Corporation/Pihl., Inc. The project is scheduled for completion in Summer 2013. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
The new bridge structure that will be under construction during the Exit 28 closure will remain in place as a service road that will carry on-ramp traffic from George Street and off-ramp traffic to a new Exit 28 to School Street. This new bridge will reduce congestion on I-95 North by providing additional lanes for on- and off-ramp traffic.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT's website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007