The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has made a slight change in the schedule for upcoming Iway opening dates. A new on-ramp from Plain Street, near R.I. Hospital, to I-195 East will now open on Saturday, December 6, 2008. This ramp will replace the Friendship Street on-ramp to old I-195 East, which RIDOT closed in May.
A review of construction progress given the recent unseasonably cold weather and heavy rains prompted RIDOT to make this change. All other previously released dates remain the same. They include:
Friday, December 5: The fifth lane of the Washington Bridge eastbound is scheduled to open.
Saturday, December 6: The new Exit 20 from I-95 South to I-195 East is scheduled to open. New Exit 20 will be located on the right-hand side of the highway, as is customary for most highway ramps and interchanges. The current left-hand exit for old I-195 East will close at the same time, as will access to old I-195 Exits 1 (Downtown) and 2 (Wickenden Street).
RIDOT expects these changes, particularly the opening of new Exit 20, will result in traffic congestion on I-95 South during the first few days of this new traffic pattern. Additional congestion is possible on city streets as well. Motorists are advised to familiarize themselves with the location of the new exit and suggested detours for inbound and outbound traffic in light of the permanent closure of old I-195 East and its Exits 1 and 2.
More information regarding the Iway project can be found on RIDOTís website, www.dot.ri.gov. Additional information is available by calling 511 or listening to the Highway Advisory Radio system on 1630 AM. Motorists also can contact RIDOTís Customer Service department weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 222-2450.
All schedules remain weather-dependent and subject to change.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007