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RIDOT closing South Water Street at old I-195 overpass for two consecutive weekends

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is continuing its demolition of the old I-195 highway corridor and next will be working on the east side of the Providence River near South Water Street. This work, on two consecutive weekends, will require the closure of a portion of South Water Street and require detours for local traffic and traffic seeking access to I-195 East from the India Street on-ramp.

RIDOT intends to close the road between James Street and Point Street at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, and reopen it before midnight on Sunday, May 8, 2011. The current schedule calls for this road to be closed again the following weekend, May 14-15, 2011. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

The road will be closed to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and will allow RIDOT to demolish the bridge in a quick and safe manner. The closure is the latest in a series of demolitions scheduled to take place this year in Providence as part of a $6.8 million Iway demolition contract. The Department anticipates the entire highway demolition project to conclude in late summer.

“The Department is limiting these closures to weekends when traffic is lightest to help minimize any disruption caused by the demolition,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We apologize for any inconvenience this work may cause.”

Detour routes will be established and well-marked with signs. Access to local businesses will be maintained. The detours are as follows:

Vehicular Detours to Reach I-195 East On-Ramp

Memorial Boulevard Southbound:

• Proceed straight at the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and South Water Street

• Follow onto Dyer Street

• Stay straight as Dyer Street becomes Eddy Street

• Turn left onto Point Street; drive over the Point Street Bridge

• Turn right onto South Main Street and follow signs to I-195 East

Vehicular Detours for Local Traffic

South Water Street Southbound:

• Follow South Water Street toward old I-195 overpass

• Turn left onto James Street

• Cross South Main Street

• Turn right onto Benefit Street

• Turn left or right onto Wickenden Street, depending on destination

Pedestrian Detours

South Water Street Southbound:

• Follow South Water Street toward old I-195 overpass

• Turn left onto James Street

• Cross South Main Street

• Turn right onto South Main Street and use the sidewalk on the left side (facing oncoming traffic)

• Turn left or right onto Wickenden Street, depending on destination

Maps and turn-by-turn directions also are available on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.

During this project, RIDOT will demolish more than 3,500 feet of old I-195 and seven bridges. Former Iway contracts demolished an additional 1,500 feet of old highway. Old I-195 was built in the late 1950s and was officially closed in October 2009.

The demolition of old I-195 will open up about 35 acres of land that 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 Providence River at newly proposed parks.

Those 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)

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation

Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov

Release date: 05-02-2011

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