During the week of October 17, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will install a road diet along a section of Main Avenue (Route 113) located between Route 5 and Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick to address chronic issues of speeding, crashes and narrow lanes along this busy road. RIDOT coordinated closely with City officials on the new traffic configuration.
Because of inclement weather earlier in the week, the road diet will now be in place by Thursday morning, October 20.
Road diets involve converting an existing four-lane road to three lanes, with one travel lane in each direction and a center, two-way left-turn lane. Studies have shown that crashes within road diets are reduced by upwards of 40 percent.
The three-lane configuration will begin at Bailey Street and end at Sycamore Avenue. This will provide a transition back to a four-lane road on either end of Main Avenue to line up with the traffic signals at Route 5 and Jefferson Boulevard and provide more space for vehicles waiting at red lights.
Along this stretch of Main Avenue, the Department found there had been 59 crashes in the past five years, including one fatal crash and 14 crashes with injuries. RIDOT also studied travel times with the current traffic pattern and with the road diet. There was a minor increase in travel times – on average only about 25 seconds. RIDOT has installed road diets in several locations across the state.
Once the road diet is in place along Main Avenue, RIDOT will evaluate its effectiveness along with the City of Warwick.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.