The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists about upcoming traffic pattern changes on I-95 South at Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue), scheduled to go into effect this weekend with a divided highway configuration. Due to the forecast for rain today, RIDOT is postponing the opening of the new traffic pattern to Sunday morning, October 23.
Lane closures are scheduled for both I-95 South and Route 146 South on Saturday night into the overnight hours to establish the first traffic pattern by 6 a.m. Sunday.
This work is part of the ongoing Providence Viaduct Replacement Project, and is the first phase in a series of traffic pattern changes needed to safely transition all travel lanes on I-95 South to the new bridge. It is important to note that in all phases of moving traffic to the bridge, three through lanes will remain for I-95 South traffic.
"Among the changes we are making are improved signage and traffic configuration setup at the lane splits that will be used for this phase, with two through lanes to the left of the split and one through lane to the right of the split," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. "Motorists need to know that they can continue onto I-95 South on either side of the split and there is no need to change lanes as they drive onto the bridge."
Ultimately, this work will transition all travel lanes on I-95 South to the new bridge, which is being built adjacent to the old bridge.
The Department will be utilizing pavement striping, traffic signs, and concrete barriers, to implement these changes. The approximate schedule of these phases include:
• Phase 1: Scheduled to be in place Sunday, October 23, there will be two through lanes to the left on the old bridge and one through lane to the right on the new bridge. Traffic taking Exit 21 can use the far right lane (which is an exit-only lane for Atwells Avenue).
• Phase 2: Approximately one week later, there will be one through lane to the left on the old bridge and two through lanes to the right on the new bridge. Again, traffic taking Exit 21 will have access to the far right lane (which is an exit-only lane for Atwells Avenue).
• Phase 3: In mid-November there will be no traffic splits, with all three lanes open on the new bridge and one exit-only lane designated for Exit 21.
Contact: Charles St. Martin (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4007