Governor Donald L. Carcieri and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael P. Lewis swung a Gold Wrecking Ball to start the demolition of old I-195 in Providence. The Jersey barrier at old Exit 2 eastbound “Wickenden Street/India Point” cracked more with every pounding.
“If we are going to succeed in the 21st century economy, we must have a world-class, efficient, reliable transportation system. Investing in our state’s infrastructure is a powerful economic tool,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “This project will open up approximately 20 acres of prime commercial real estate that will become a center for the growing medical and life sciences industry in Rhode Island. The investments we have made in our transportation system, including Route 403 in Quonset, the InterLink at TF Green Airport, and the Iway are investments in our economic development and our ability to improve the flow of business and create jobs.”
During this project, RIDOT will be demolishing over 3,500 feet of old I-195. Other contracts demolished an additional 1,500 feet of old highway. Old I-195 was built in the late 1950s and was officially closed in late 2009.
“Now that the Iway is nearing completion clearing out the obsolete sections of I-195 is the next step,” said Lewis. “Once the old structure is gone the entire landscape of Providence will change.”
The demolition of old I-195 will open up about 35 acres of land which will be used to build new streets throughout Providence. This includes about 20 acres of new parcels that will be used for private development and new parks along the waterfront. It will also allow for the construction of a new bicycle/pedestrian bridge on the existing highway piers, which connects both sides of the river at newly proposed parks.
RIDOT opened the first segment of the Iway, I-95 North to I-195 East, in November 2007. The next segment, I-95 South to I-195 East, opened in December 2008. I-195 West to I-95 South opened in June 2009. Additional on- and off-ramps are continuing to open. With the demolition of old I-195 the entire Iway project is expected to wrap up in 2012.
Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450