Lane splits start the week of June 25 for bridge replacement
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced a new traffic pattern scheduled to go into place the week of June 25 that will feature a divided highway configuration on I-95 North and South near Exit 19 in Providence. This means traffic lanes will be separated by a barrier, and through traffic will need to pass on either side of the lane split.
As was the case with lane splits RIDOT used last summer for highway work, all travel lanes will continue through the work zone. Motorists should not stop or switch lanes. Such behavior can lead to crashes or create unnecessary congestion for motorists behind you.
Traffic delays are likely, especially in the first few days as motorists become accustomed to the changes. The new traffic pattern will be located on I-95 North between Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) and Exit 20 (Point Street) and on I-95 South between Exit 19 (Eddy Street) and Exit 18. It will be in place for approximately three months. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
These changes are needed as part of ongoing work to replace the superstructure of the structurally deficient Blackstone Street Bridge which carries I-95 over Blackstone Street near the Rhode Island Hospital campus. Since March, traffic in both directions has been shifted to the right as RIDOT demolished and rebuilt a portion of the bridge. Now RIDOT needs to work on the middle portion of the bridge.
With this temporary traffic pattern, there will be two lanes to the left of the split and one to the right. All exits and on-ramps in the area will remain open. For I-95 North traffic only, the right lane must be used for motorists wishing to take Exit 20 to Point Street. During late evening and overnight hours when traffic volumes are at their lowest, RIDOT may close lanes in both directions. No lane closures will occur before 10 p.m.
The bridge work is part of the $20.7 million I-195 Corridor Bridges project, which includes work on five structurally deficient bridges.
Blackstone Street itself, between Allens Avenue and Eddy Street, will remain closed until late fall. There will be one more traffic pattern change in late summer/early fall when RIDOT shifts lanes to the left and finishes the final portion of the bridge.
The I-195 Corridor Bridges Project 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.