The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has announced that this morning it reopened Exit 27 (Downtown) from I-95 Southbound using a temporary ramp. This is approximately three months earlier than originally anticipated.
Back in September, when the Department opened the second span of the new Pawtucket River Bridge and fully lifted the bridge's 18-ton weight limit, it closed Exit 27 from I-95 Southbound in order to demolish the old I-95 South span. In the interim, motorists on I-95 Southbound had the choice of detouring to Exit 30 (Roosevelt Avenue) or Exit 25 (Smithfield Avenue) to reach their destinations.
"While closing Exit 27 was necessary to complete this phase of the project, we realized this closure needed to be as short as possible for the benefit of nearby businesses," said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "We worked with our design team and contractor to accelerate the reopening of this exit to help minimize the impact to downtown businesses."
Short-term closures of the temporary ramp may be anticipated before the end of the project to allow for the transition to the permanent ramp as part of the new highway currently being constructed. The present detours will be put into effect at that time.
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. RIDOT anticipates the project to be finished, and all roads and exits restored, by Summer 2013.
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: Heidi Gudmundson (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4009