The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that that its next rapid bridge replacement will require a full weekend closure of I-95 North in Exeter, currently scheduled for mid-October. This approach will allow the Department to demolish the old bridge and open a new one over a single weekend, saving nearly $1 million and four months of delays as compared with traditional construction methods.
RIDOT is replacing the Tefft Hill Trail Bridge, which is composed of two structures that carry I-95 over a road that provides access to a portion of the Arcadia Management Area from Route 3. The existingbridges are 50 years old. RIDOT is replacing the bridges with smaller structures that will result in far lower maintenance costs and avoid the need for costly rehabilitation or replacement.
"This is another important element of our RhodeWorks program - properly managing our assets to address their needs and future maintenance requirements," Director Peter Alviti Jr. said, "both of which add up to considerable savings we can use throughout our transportation system."
Replacement of the bridge has been ongoing since summer 2016, and has mostly involved travel lane shifts for I-95. To finish work on the northbound bridge, RIDOT chose to conduct an extended, 56-hour closure of the highway. This closure is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 13, with all travel lanes reopened in time for the morning commute on Monday, October 16.
During the closure, all northbound traffic will be required to take Exit 4 to Route 3 north. Trucks will get back onto I-95 using the Exit 5/Route 102 interchange in West Greenwich. Passenger vehicles will continue along Route 3 north and use the Exit 6 interchange, also in West Greenwich. A map detailing the detour routes for both cars and trucks can be found at www.ridot.net/95Closure.
Route 3 runs parallel to I-95 in this area, and has two travel lanes in each direction. RIDOT will coordinate with State and local police along the detour route to mitigate the temporary congestion on Route 3. Travelers should expect delays.
The temporary traffic pattern necessary to keep I-95 traffic moving on the detour route will require the closure of access from Route 3 south to I-95 North at the Exit 6 interchange. Drivers will instead be directed to use Division Street to Hopkins Hill Road, where they will be able to get onto the highway. Anyone seeking access from Coventry to I-95 north who normally uses the Exit 6 interchange should consider using alternate routes to the highway at either the Hopkins Hill Road (Exit 6A) or New London Turnpike (Exit 7) interchanges.
The replacement of the Tefft Hill Trail Bridge was made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.