The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that on Tuesday, May 27, 2008, the Friendship Street on-ramp to I-195 East will be closing permanently. To replace this access to I-195 East, which typically serves motorists coming from the Rhode Island hospitals area, RIDOT has built a temporary ramp nearby.
Motorists heading north on Plain Street from the hospitals area will be directed to take a right onto Point Street, cross over I-95 and take a left onto Hoppin Street to use the new temporary ramp to I-195 East. RIDOT eventually will replace this access to I-195 East with a new on-ramp from Plain Street.
The closure of the Friendship Street ramp is necessary for continued construction of the Iway. RIDOT this week made a number of other Iway-related changes, including the opening of the temporary ramp from Hoppin Street on Monday and the opening of Iway Exit 2 yesterday. Exit 2 replaces Exit 3 (Gano Street) for I-195 East, but provides easy access to Gano Street via India Street.
Other Iway-related changes in the near future include:
Early June: I-95 North Exit 20 (the old I-195 East exit) will close permanently. This change will take place during the early morning hours. Motorists on I-95 North will no longer be able to use it to access Exits 1 (Downtown) and 2 (Wickenden Street) on the old portion of I-195. All motorists on I-95 North from this point forward will need to use the Iway to reach the East Side, East Providence and Massachusetts. This change does not affect motorists traveling on I-95 South who wish to access old I-195 Exits 1 and 2.
RIDOT must take Exit 20 (from I-95 North only) out of service to allow construction crews to begin demolition of the old portions of I-195 and allow for the continuing construction of the Iway.
To reach parts of Providence that had been reachable from Exits 1 and 2, RIDOT offers the following alternative routes for motorists on I-95 North:
• For the College Hill/Fox Point/Lower East Side areas, motorists can take the Iway (Exit 19) and use the new Iway Exit 2. This exit will provide immediate access to Gano Street via India Street.
• For the Jewelry District and the J. Joseph Garrahy Judicial Complex, motorists can take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) and follow Allens Avenue north.
• For the Downtown area, motorists can remain on I-95 North and take Exit 22A (Downtown/Memorial Boulevard) and proceed straight at the end of the ramp onto Memorial Boulevard.
Also in Early June: The Pine Street overpass over I-95 will close permanently. Motorists can use either the Broad Street or Point Street overpasses to cross over I-95.
These changes are necessary for RIDOT to continue to open sections of the Iway project. RIDOT expects all highway traffic to use the Iway in late 2009. The entire project will be finalized in 2012 with demolition of the old I-195.
Given the many changes happening in the coming days and weeks, RIDOT encourages motorists to plan ahead as much as possible and carefully observe signage regarding changes. RIDOT will continuously update all information, including maps, on its Web site at www.dot.ri.gov. Additionally, information on changes will be available by calling 511 and listening to the Highway Advisory Radio System on 1630 AM. Motorists may also call RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007