The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is urging residents to take caution when driving through the after-effects of Hurricane Irene. Although the storm has passed, there is still debris in the road, and a significant number of traffic signals are offline statewide because of power outages. This is in addition to reported outages at signals maintained by cities and towns.
RIDOT Maintenance crews will be working through the night to repair traffic signals that are operational but need to be reset, and will continue to check other signals as power is restored to affected areas.
Commuters should give themselves extra time to get to work in the morning, as delays are expected along several roadways. RIDOT will be working with State and local police to have officers at major intersections, but motorists who approach a signal without power where no police officer is present should treat it as a four-way stop. Drivers approaching the intersection should yield to vehicles that have already started to proceed, and motorists should always yield to the right when two vehicles arrive at the same time.
"This is not going to be a normal morning commute," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "We are asking drivers to be patient and courteous as we work to bring these signals back online."
Anyone 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: Bryan Lucier 401-222-1362 x4012