The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to temporarily close Chestnut Street in Providence at the old I-195 overpass on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. This section of Chestnut Street, between Clifford Street and Friendship Street, must be closed to allow for safe demolition of the old highway bridge, part of a $6.8 million Iway demolition contract.
RIDOT intends to close the road at 6 a.m. on June 15 and reopen it approximately two weeks later on June 29. 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. The Department anticipates the entire highway demolition project to conclude in late summer.
“We are nearing the end of road closures for Iway-related demolition,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “RIDOT would like to thank pedestrians and motorists for their patience as we complete this phase of the project.”
The Department waited until June to demolish this bridge structure due to the high level of pedestrian activity related to area colleges. Waiting until the colleges dismiss for the summer will help to mitigate the impacts of the road closure.
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.
RIDOT has established detour routes for both vehicles and pedestrians for this closure. Access to local businesses will be maintained. Note that Chestnut Street is two-way only to the old I-195 overpass, and then merges into Friendship Street. The detours are as follows:
Chestnut Street Northbound to Friendship Street: Turn right onto Elm Street, turn left onto Richmond Street, and turn right onto Friendship Street.
Chestnut Street Southbound: Turn left onto Friendship Street, turn right onto Dorrance Street. Follow Dorrance Street onto Dyer Street, which then becomes Eddy Street. Turn right onto Elm Street and follow to the intersection with Chestnut Street.
Clifford Street Eastbound to Friendship Street: Turn right onto Ship Street, turn left onto Richmond Street, and turn right onto Friendship Street.
Chestnut Street Northbound: Turn right onto Ship Street, turn left onto Richmond Street, turn left onto Friendship Street, and turn right onto Chestnut Street.
Chestnut Street Southbound: Turn left onto Friendship Street, turn right onto Richmond Street, and turn right onto Ship Street. Follow Ship Street to the intersection with Chestnut Street or turn left onto Elbow Street or Bassett Street, depending on destination.
Maps and turn-by-turn directions also are available on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.
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