The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that on Friday, November 7, 2008, it will permanently close the Broad Street on-ramp to I-95 South in Providence. The Department must take the ramp out of service to allow for continued construction of the Iway and the new right-hand exit from I-95 South to I-195, which RIDOT expects to open to later this year.
The closure will affect motorists who use the southbound service road alongside I-95 to reach the Broad Street on-ramp. Traditionally those heading south from the West End of Providence, including the Atwells Avenue, Broadway and Westminster Street areas, have used the Broad Street ramp. Additionally the ramp is sometimes used by those in the Downtown/Downcity areas upon leaving sporting and entertainment events at the Dunkin Donuts Center, Trinity Repertory Theater, and the Providence Performing Arts Center.
RIDOT has established a signed detour to I-95 South using a temporary ramp from Blackstone Street, which opened on October 29. From the area of the Broad Street ramp, motorists using this ramp will be able to follow detour signs along Point Street, Richmond Street, Eddy Street and Allens Avenue to reach the temporary Blackstone Street ramp.
“The Department has made every effort to provide an alternative on-ramp or off-ramp when making changes in connection with the Iway project,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “These changes are necessary as we continue improvements aimed at easing congestion and increasing safety for highway travel through Providence.”
In addition to the detour to the new Blackstone Street on-ramp, RIDOT is publishing a series of maps that provide suggested detours for those leaving Providence depending on their point of origin. Among them:
• Motorists west of the I-95 corridor: Drive west on Broadway or Westminster Street to reach Tobey Street and the Route 6/10 Connector. The ramp provides access to Route 6 West and Route 10 South only. Route 10 rejoins I-95 in Cranston. • Motorists in the Downtown area: Use Memorial Boulevard to reach I-95 South or the Route 6/10 Connector near Providence Place mall. • Motorists in Downcity area: Use the existing on-ramp to I-195 West from Dorrance Street.
RIDOT is urging motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for getting home during the evening commute as changes in traffic patterns traditionally lead to periods of congestion during the first few days.
The closing of the Broad Street ramp is part of a series of changes this fall which will impact those who travel on I-95 and I-195, as well as those on Providence streets seeking access to and from the highways. Motorists have been using some of these exits and ramps, including the Broad Street on-ramp, for many years.
The access to I-95 South at Broad Street will be permanently replaced near the completion of the Iway project with a new ramp from Point Street to I-95 South. This ramp will be located just a few blocks south of the existing ramp.
The next major change related to the Iway is expected in December, when RIDOT plans to open the new 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. When that occurs, motorists will no longer be able to access Exits 1 (Downtown) and 2 (Wickenden Street) on the old portion of I-195.
Detailed detour maps for all changes can be found on RIDOT’s Web site at www.dot.ri.gov. Motorists may also contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 222-2450 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007