On Saturday night February 18, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to adjust the temporary traffic pattern on Route 44 over I-295 at the Putnam Pike Bridge in Smithfield. All lanes will shift to the left. The traffic pattern will remain in place until October.
Last spring, RIDOT reduced the number of lanes in each direction from two to one and shifted lanes to begin phased rehabilitation of the bridge. That first phase of work is done, allowing RIDOT to shift travel onto the newly reconstructed portion while it rehabilitates the other portions of the bridge.
RIDOT recommends that drivers reduce their speed and drive carefully through the work zone as they become accustomed to the new lane shifts. The changes will not impact I-295 on and off-ramp traffic.
RIDOT's $15.7 million project includes a full replacement of the bridge deck and making numerous other repairs to this 52-year-old bridge, which is only one rating point away from being classified as structurally deficient.
The Putnam Pike Bridge carries 39,000 vehicles per day. It is an important east-west link for northern Rhode Island, connecting cars and trucks from bustling commercial districts in North Providence, Johnston and Smithfield to the Interstate as well as serving as a vital link to northwestern Rhode Island communities. With that large volume of traffic, it is imperative to maintain the bridge structure for the safety of motorists and to ensure efficient traffic operations, which support reduced vehicle emissions.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The rehabilitation of the Putnam Pike Bridge is made possible by RhodeWorks, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act. RIDOT is committed to bringing Rhode Island's infrastructure into a state of good repair while respecting the environment and striving to improve it. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.