The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that a new off-ramp from I-95 South to the R.I. hospitals complex will open next week. The ramp will permanently replace the existing Eddy Street off-ramp at Exit 19, which will close the following week. These changes are part of the Iway project.
The new ramp will be open to traffic during the early morning hours on Friday, October 29, 2010. Motorists will encounter the new ramp (signed as Exit 19) just after Exit 20 to I-195 East, about one quarter of a mile sooner than the current Exit 19.
The new ramp will split at its end. By staying left of the split, motorists will have access to Eddy Street. By staying right at the split, motorists will arrive at Borden Street. This new configuration should help reduce traffic on Eddy Street and other major roads such as Dudley Street by providing direct access to offices and medical facilities at the northern and western portions of the hospitals campus.
“The exit as it exists today puts all hospital traffic from I-95 South on Eddy Street,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “The new exit will provide more choices and eliminate the need for many people to cut across the hospital campus to get to their destination.”
To allow time for motorists to become accustomed to the new ramp, RIDOT intends to keep the old hospital exit at Dudley Street open until November 3. At that time, old Exit 19 to Eddy Street will close permanently.
New Exit 19 also can be used to access the Jewelry District, Point Street, Davol Square and Wickenden Street areas of Providence.
The opening of the new Exit 19 is the third major traffic pattern change this fall related to the Iway project. This month, RIDOT has opened the new Clifford Street bridge and established a new traffic circulation pattern on the service roads on either side of the I-95 corridor. Earlier this week, the Department changed the traffic patterns on Friendship Street and Pine Street in the Upper South Providence area to line up with the service road traffic circulator.
Also scheduled to open this fall is a new on-ramp from Point Street to I-95 South, which is scheduled to be operational in November. This ramp will replace the former Broad Street on-ramp to I-95 South, which closed in 2008. By the end of 2010, RIDOT also plans to open a new section of East Franklin Street from Clifford Street to Broad Street and an additional exit to the hospitals area – new Exit 1B from I-195 West.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007