The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that on Monday, April 9, 2012, it will close I-95 North Exit 28 (School Street) for approximately two weeks. The closure is scheduled to occur in the early morning hours Monday and be in place for the morning commute. This will allow the Department to complete construction needed before opening the first span of the new Pawtucket River Bridge to traffic on I-95 North.
Once these construction activities are complete RIDOT will shift traffic on I-95 North to the right onto the new bridge, which will temporarily carry highway traffic throughout the life of the project. In doing so, the Department will then be able to lift the 18-ton weight limit that has required trucks and other large vehicles on I-95 North to use local detours or longer highway detours.
During the exit closure, motorists should use Exit 27 (Downtown) or Exit 29 (Broadway) to reach their destinations. Those traveling to Memorial Hospital should use Exit 27. Those driving to McCoy Stadium for a Pawtucket Red Sox game can use either Exit 27 or Exit 29. RIDOT is coordinating with both organizations to ensure adequate signage and traffic control measures are in place to help people navigate the detour routes with minimal delay.
Once I-95 North traffic has been shifted to the new bridge, RIDOT will begin demolition of the old I-95 North bridge. A new span will be built in the same location, and is expected to open by the end of 2012. This will remove the weight limit for I-95 South traffic.
Building the bridge in phases has allowed RIDOT to complete the reconstruction of the Pawtucket River Bridge with minimal impact to highway traffic with no reduction in travel lanes throughout the life of the project.
Construction of the new Pawtucket River Bridge is a high priority for the Department. The bridge is being replaced through an $81 million contract with S&R/Pihl, a Joint Venture. In the span of just two years, the Department will have opened seven out of 10 bridges being built as part of this project.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
Detailed information, including detour maps, will be available at RIDOT's website at www.dot.ri.gov. Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information may be available on RIDOT's social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007