Starting Friday, January 22, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will make additional changes to traffic patterns on the Henderson Bridge in East Providence and Providence, shifting all travel lanes to the side of the bridge carrying eastbound traffic toward East Providence. This change will allow for demolition and reconstruction of the other half of the structure and will be in place for approximately two years.
One lane in each direction will be open, from South Angell Street and Waterman Street in Providence to North Broadway in East Providence. RIDOT has conducted several lane closures both as part of this project and earlier repair work on the bridge and observed little to no delays. RIDOT will include bike lanes in both directions and a sidewalk.
Speed limits on the expressway range from 25 mph to 35 mph and will be strictly enforced. RIDOT will add reflective delineators to the striping separating the lanes of traffic. Motorists are advised to reduce speed and drive cautiously through the work zone.
The Department also will activate three temporary traffic signals on the East Providence side of the bridge to assist with safe and efficient traffic flow at the following locations:
- • Massasoit Avenue at Dexter Road to allow southbound traffic to safely turn left onto the Henderson Expressway westbound towards Providence. The existing ramp further to the south on the right side of Massasoit Avenue will be closed permanently. The project includes construction of a roundabout at this location.
- • North Broadway at the on-ramp to Henderson Expressway westbound towards Providence, allowing both northbound and southbound traffic on North Broadway to use this ramp.
- • Henderson Expressway westbound where it meets traffic entering from Massasoit Avenue. This signal will safely control the merging of two lanes onto the single lane of westbound traffic across the bridge. Signs will be installed on the ramp and Henderson Expressway westbound to alert drivers of the upcoming signal.
Built in 1969, the Henderson Bridge is a 26-span, 2,000-foot bridge which carries vehicles over the Seekonk River from East Providence to Providence. Upon completion of this $84.4 million project, RIDOT will reduce its statewide structurally deficient bridge area by 12 percent. It has been rated as structurally deficient since 1996 when RIDOT first started keeping such records, and the Department has spent $4 million over the last ten years on repairs to keep it safe.
The Henderson Bridge replacement is supported largely by an additional $54.5 million in federal funding for Rhode Island as part of a spending law authored by U.S. Senator Jack Reed to assist states with the highest percentage of bridge deck area in poor condition.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The replacement of the Henderson 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.