All openings, closings, and construction are weather permitting Many changes are in store for motorists traveling in and through Providence in the coming weeks in connection with the Iway, also known as the I-195 Relocation Project. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced scheduled openings and closings related to Iway construction for the remainder of 2008. All openings, closings and construction are weather permitting.
The changes will impact motorists who travel on I-95 and I-195, as well as those on Providence streets seeking access to and from the highways. Exits and ramps motorists have used for many years will be closing and changing locations. Those who do not need to travel through Providence during the first few days of a major traffic pattern are urged to seek alternate routes such as Route 10 or I-295.
“We ask motorists to become familiar with the changes and to drive carefully when driving on highways in Providence,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “With a change of this magnitude, delays can be expected as motorists become familiar with new traffic patterns.”
These changes are necessary for RIDOT to continue to open sections of the Iway project, with the overall goal of improving travel in Providence. RIDOT expects all highway traffic to use the Iway in late 2009. The project will be finalized in 2012 with demolition of the old I-195.
The most significant change this fall will be the opening of a new ramp from I-95 South to I-195 East. Unlike the current left-hand exit, this new off-ramp will be on the right-hand side of the highway. With the opening of this new ramp, expected in December, all access to old I-195 East will be closed and all eastbound traffic on I-195 will use the Iway.
The changes for the remainder of 2008 are as follows:
Wednesday, October 29: RIDOT will open a temporary ramp from Blackstone Street to I-95 South, accessible only from Allens Avenue. This ramp is being built to provide additional access to I-95 South for Providence outbound traffic due to ramp closures, including the closure of the Broad Street on-ramp (see below).
Friday, November 7: RIDOT will close the Broad Street on-ramp to I-95 South. This is necessary to allow for final construction of the new ramp from I-95 South to I-195 East. At the conclusion of the Iway project, RIDOT will construct a permanent replacement on-ramp to I-95 South at Point Street. RIDOT offers the following suggested detours due to the closure of the Broad Street on-ramp:
• Motorists west of the I-95 corridor can follow a signed detour using Point Street, Richmond Street, Eddy Street and Allens Avenue to the new temporary ramp from Blackstone Street.
• Motorists further west from the I-95 corridor or closer to the Route 6/10 Connector can follow Westminster Street or Broadway to the Route 6/10 Connector at Tobey Street. The ramp provides access to Route 6 West and Route 10 South only. Route 10 South connects to I-95 North and South in Cranston.
• Motorists in Downcity who may have used the Broad Street on-ramp should use the Dorrance Street on-ramp to old I-195 West or Memorial Boulevard to either I-95 South or the Route 6/10 Connector.
Early December: RIDOT will open a new on-ramp from I-95 South to I-195 East. This right-hand exit will be signed as Exit 20 and replace the current left-hand Exit 20 to old I-195. It is RIDOT’s intention to close access to old Exit 20 just prior to opening new Exit 20. This switch will occur during overnight hours when traffic is lightest and the new ramp will be open in time for the morning commute. Motorists on I-95 South will no longer be able to access Exits 1 (Downtown) and 2 (Wickenden Street) on the old portion of I-195.
RIDOT offers the following suggested detours due to the closure of old Exit 20 from I-95 South:
• For Downcity, use Exit 22 (Downtown) to Memorial Boulevard or Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue).
• For the Courthouse District, use Exit 22 (Downtown) to Memorial Boulevard.
• For the Jewelry District, use Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue) and follow the southbound Service Road to Point Street or use Exit 19 to Eddy Street.
• For College Hill/Fox Point/Lower East Side areas, motorists should take new Exit 20 to the Iway and use Exit 2 (India Street). India Street offers access to Gano Street on the west and South Water Street to the east.
• Motorists on I-95 South who miss the new Exit 20 should use Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) to reverse direction and access the Iway at Exit 19 from I-95 North.
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 provide information to motorists with all information, including maps, on the Department’s web site at www.dot.ri.gov. Additionally, information on changes will be available by calling 511 and by 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