The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that next week it will begin work on I-195 in Providence that will involve nightly lane closures through mid-Fall 2012. The work is part of the Iway (I-195 Relocation) Project and is aimed at reducing road noise from the elevated concrete ramps and bridges that comprise the Iway.
The work is scheduled to begin on Sunday night and will require lane closures on I-195 and the ramp and bridge structures connecting the Iway to and from I-95. The work is scheduled to take place on Sunday through Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. One lane may be closed on these nights beginning at 9 p.m., two lanes after 10 p.m. and up to three lanes after midnight when traffic is lightest. All lanes of travel will be reopened prior to the morning commute, and no work is planned on weekends or holidays.
During this project, RIDOT will be machining the concrete roadway surface with the goal of reducing noise generated by truck and car traffic. As part of the review of the new highway and its environmental impact, the Department determined that the reduced congestion and increased speeds associated with free-flowing traffic have increased noise levels in the Iway corridor, specifically on the concrete pavements.
RIDOT has conferred with other Departments of Transportation around the country that have been dealing with similar noise concerns from concrete highway pavements. Instead of building expensive sound walls which are not always effective and could obstruct views of the city and the Providence waterfront, the Department will pursue the machining operation as a more effective method of reducing noise.
In addition to reducing highway noise, this operation also helps smooth the driving surface and improves rideability. The method the Department is using is identical to the recent treatment by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to improve the riding surface on the Pell Bridge in Newport.
Also as part of this project, RIDOT will be machining the surface of the eastbound lanes of the Washington Bridge, which also have a concrete riding surface.
Those 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 Twitter and Facebook sites.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362, Ext. 4007