The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will begin the rehabilitation of a bridge carrying off-ramp traffic from Exit 4 on I-195 East to Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence on Saturday, November 17, 2012. This work will require a partial closure of the exit until Summer 2013.
The bridge will be rebuilt at a cost of $2 million, part of the larger project to preserve the old Washington Bridge and transform it into a linear park and bikeway. The 53-year-old bridge carrying exit ramp traffic is structurally deficient and is partially supported by timber.
The Exit 4 ramp splits in two directions, and RIDOT only will be closing the right lane, which leads to Veterans Memorial Parkway. RIDOT will maintain access to the left lane, which leads to Route 44 (Taunton Avenue).
Motorists on I-195 East will be directed to follow a detour using Exit 8 (Route 1A/Route 114) to Warren Avenue. The detour then turns south onto Pawtucket Avenue and returns to Veterans Memorial Parkway in the vicinity of Bradley Hospital. A detour map is available on RIDOT's website at www.dot.ri.gov/travelri/detourmaps.asp.
Although work began on the old Washington Bridge in July, RIDOT refrained from closing the ramp bridge until the fall to reduce the total closure time. Only when RIDOT's contractor for this project, Cardi Corporation, received newly fabricated beams did the Department authorize its closure.
"Our goal through the design process was to reduce the total duration of the closure," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "As it moves into construction, we will work with our contractor to ensure a swift completion of the bridge."
Those 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 will be available on RIDOT's social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362, Ext. 4007