The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today updated its schedule for the opening of the second span of the new Pawtucket River Bridge and now expects the structure to open to I-95 South traffic tomorrow, Saturday, September 15, 2012. Additional preparation work is needed to ready the bridge for highway traffic.
With the opening of this bridge, the Department will remove the bridge's 18-ton weight limit, which requires trucks and other large vehicles to use local detours or longer highway detours.
The work needed to shift I-95 South traffic to the new bridge will require lane closures tonight with one lane closing at 8 p.m., a second lane closing at 10 p.m., and a full closure at midnight. Lane closures are also possible on I-95 North. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. During the full highway closure, motorists can expect delays and should seek alternate routes such as Route 146 and I-295.
With the shifting of travel lanes to this new bridge, motorists on I-95 South will no longer have access to Exit 27 (Downtown). RIDOT will immediately begin demolition of the old I-95 South span and will build a new bridge in the same footprint. The bridge is expected to open in mid-2013.
During the closure of Exit 27, motorists will have two options to reach their destination. RIDOT will establish detours with trailblazing signage both before and after the closed off-ramp, at Exit 30 (Roosevelt Ave.) and at Exit 25 (Smithfield Ave.).
Copies of detour maps and turn-by-turn directions are available on 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 can be found on RIDOT's social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007