The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will be placing Jersey barriers along a section of I-95 South at Exit 8 (Rte. 2) on the Warwick/West Warwick line. This will slightly restrict the width of a lane used by traffic entering and exiting the highway.
RIDOT is implementing this restriction due to a damaged steel beam under the bridge that was discovered during a recent inspection. The bridge was apparently struck by a large vehicle heading south on Route 2 under the highway overpass.
The lane restriction will reduce loading on that portion of the bridge. RIDOT expects to replace the entire bridge beginning in 2011.
The same bridge was damaged by another apparent vehicle strike, but on the opposite side, affecting I-95 North. In August 2008, RIDOT shifted all travel lanes away from the damaged beam.
This new restriction for I-95 South is not as intrusive as the one on I-95 North, but will impact traffic using the ramp from Route 2 North to I-95 South. Motorists will have a shorter distance than they did before to merge with traffic. Additionally, motorists using Exit 8 will have a shorter deceleration lane for the off-ramp. RIDOT urges all motorists – those using the ramps as well as through traffic – to reduce speed and exercise caution when driving on this section of I-95.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007
Note: Anyone with information pertaining to the crash that caused this damage is urged to contact the R.I. State Police at 401-444-1000.