The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is alerting motorists that the new striping pattern of three lanes (one lane in each direction with a center turn lane) on Route 44 in Smithfield, from Austin Avenue to West Greenville Road, will continue. The roadway will soon undergo $2 million of resurfacing improvements thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The project is slated to get underway, weather permitting, on Tuesday, August 25.
“Due to the success we have had thus far with this new traffic configuration, we have decided to continue it as we move forward with the construction project,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “It appears that the new traffic patterns have actually reduced speeds, acting as a traffic calming device, and helping to improve safety in the area.”
In addition to the new striping, the 1-R (Resurfacing) Project for Route 44 in Smithfield includes cold planing and paving, bringing existing sidewalks into Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, a new traffic signal at the intersection of Route 44 and Austin Avenue, and new signing. Under a contract with Digregorio Corporation of Smithfield, RI, the project is slated for completion by Summer 2010.
The Department originally changed the striping on this stretch of Route 44, with an average daily traffic count of 15,000 vehicles per day, on August 13. RIDOT’s plans are to continue to monitor traffic in the area, and if all goes well, make the new lane configurations permanent.