The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today a $9.5 million program to replace all highway signage and structures along the Route 146 corridor, from I-95 in Providence to the Massachusetts border in North Smithfield. The signs are deteriorated and do not meet modern standards. The signs also lack the proper reflectivity for easy viewing, particularly at night.
The program consists of two projects. The first $3.1 million project is now underway and will replace signs from the Lincoln/North Smithfield line to the state line. It is scheduled to wrap up this fall.
This initial project also includes the introduction of mile-marker based exit numbers on Route 146. Numbering along the entire highway corridor starts July 1.
The mile-marker exit numbering system has been used throughout the country. Rhode Island has been updating its exit numbers since 2017, integrating this effort where possible into sign replacement projects. The mile-marker methodology is required by the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways.
A mile-marker exit number system lets drivers know how far they need to travel to reach their desired off-ramp. It also allows for easier expansion for future interchanges since the entire highway would not have to be renumbered to accommodate a new exit number. When more than one exit is located within the same mile, a lettering system may be used to identify the exits.
More information on the mile-marker highway numbering project, including an interactive map showing the new exit numbers for Route 146, can be found at www.ridot.net/ExitNumbers.
The second Route 146 signage project will begin in Summer 2020 and wrap up by the end of 2021. Estimated cost is $6.4 million. Between the two projects, approximately 150 guide sign panels will be replaced on 40 overhead structures and 110 ground-mounted structures along this 16-mile highway.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
These upgrades to highway signage are 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.