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Traffic Advisory Update: Central Street Bridge Replacement Begins Monday in North Smithfield

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today provided an update on its replacement of the structurally deficient Central Street Bridge, which carries local traffic on Route 5/Central Street over Route 146, close to the Massachusetts border in North Smithfield. The work requires a full closure of the bridge, which is expected to begin on Monday, March 20, 2017.

On Friday, March 24 at 10 p.m. through midnight on Saturday, March 25, RIDOT must close portions of Route 146 to allow for the safe demolition of the old bridge which passes over the highway. At times, the closure will affect both directions of Route 146, with traffic detouring on Route 146A.

The schedule has been modified since it was originally announced with an extended closure of Route 146 North through the day on March 25, to provide additional time to safely remove all debris from the bridge demolition process. This schedule is still less restrictive than originally projected, which would have involved closing one direction in its entirety for two full weekends. This would have resulted in highway closures lasting 96 hours, where the new plan has allowed RIDOT to reduce the impact to only 26 hours.

The specifics on the closures and reopenings of portions of Route 146 North and South are as follows:

  • March 24 at 10 p.m.: Route 146 North and South closed between the Forestdale/Slatersville
  • exit in North Smithfield and Exit 1 in Uxbridge, Mass.
  • March 25 at 8 a.m.: The right lane reopens on Route 146 South
  • March 25 at 4 p.m.: All lanes open on Route 146 South
  • March 25 at midnight: All lanes open on Route 146 North

Motorists can expect delays during the closure periods, and the use of alternate routes is recommended. RIDOT chose to do this work on a weekend when traffic volumes are reduced, to minimize impact to travelers.

The Central Street Bridge itself will be closed until late fall. Final completion of the $7.7 million project is expected in spring 2018.

The bridge has been structurally deficient for 18 years, and currently has a 24-ton weight limit. As the bridge will be completely replaced, the new structure will be safe for use by all legal load trucks.

All detour routes cross over the state line into Massachusetts. RIDOT is coordinating with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and neighboring communities in Massachusetts regarding all closures.

Route 146 Detours
The following detours will be in place for demolition of the bridge, March 24-25:

All traffic must take the Forestdale/Slatersville exit
Bear right onto School Street
Turn left onto Route 146A North
Turn left for on-ramp to return to Route 146 North

All traffic must take Exit 1 in Massachusetts for Route 146A
Bear left for Route 146A South
Take ramp on right to return to Route 146 South

Central Street Detours
During the bridge closure, two detours will be in place, one for trucks and one for cars. Below are turn-by-turn directions for both:

Car Detour Northbound:
Turn right onto Route 146A North
Turn right onto Coppola Street
Turn right onto Providence Street
Return to Central Street

Car Detour Southbound:
Turn right onto Old Great Road
Turn right onto Route 146A North
Return to Central Street

Truck Detour Northbound:
Turn right onto Route 146A North
Turn right onto Route 122 South
Return to Central Street

Truck Detour Southbound:
Follow Central Street northbound
Turn left onto Route 122 North
Turn left onto Route 146A
Return to Central Street

All dates are weather-dependent and subject to change. To sign up for weekly updates on this or other RIDOT projects around the state, contact Visit or follow RIDOTnews on Facebook or Twitter for timely information on construction projects and traffic conditions.

Contact: Charles St. Martin (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4007

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Transportation
  • Online:
  • Release date: 03-17-2017

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