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Travel Advisory: RIDOT to Shift Traffic to New Henderson Bridge Starting on November 16

Starting on Thursday night, November 16, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will start shifting traffic onto the newly constructed Henderson Bridge between East Providence and Providence. The new bridge will open in phases, with westbound traffic shifted by the morning commute on Friday, November 17 and eastbound traffic shifting on Monday morning, November 20.

With the opening of the new bridge, all traffic will pass through the new roundabout RIDOT is building on Massasoit Avenue in East Providence. A timeline of the changes is as follows:

Thursday, night November 16: Opening Westbound Lanes toward Providence

All traffic will pass through the roundabout heading toward the bridge. Drivers on Massasoit Avenue will be able to exit the roundabout onto the bridge or continue straight on Massasoit Avenue.

Motorists entering the Henderson Expressway from North Broadway will be directed to use the original exit to Massasoit Avenue toward Rumford, which has been closed for two years. A temporary traffic signal at the end of this ramp will allow left turns onto Massasoit Avenue toward the roundabout and bridge.

All westbound traffic will cross over the bridge onto South Angell Street in Providence. Eastbound traffic will remain on the old bridge through the weekend. The Massasoit Avenue eastbound exit will be closed; all traffic will exit at North Broadway and follow a signed detour using North Broadway to Waterman Avenue to reach Massasoit Avenue.

Monday, November 20: Opening Eastbound Lane toward East Providence

Motorists will follow the travel lane from the end of Waterman Street onto the newly constructed bridge and to the new roundabout in East Providence.

All traffic heading to North Broadway will need to follow a detour via Massasoit Avenue northbound. This detour will be in place until next spring.

By the end of November: Shared-Use Path Opens

By the end of November, RIDOT will open the new Henderson Bridge shared-use bike path, completely separated from vehicular traffic, alongside the eastbound side of the bridge. It will connect Massasoit Avenue in East Providence directly to River Drive in Providence. Until it opens, cyclists can continue to use the old bridge.

RIDOT has installed roundabouts at many intersections across Rhode Island. Traffic flows around a center island, with those entering the circle yielding to traffic already in the roundabout. Roundabouts are much smaller than old fashioned rotaries. The smaller size restricts the speeds of vehicles in the roundabout which improves safety and efficiency.

Nationwide, roundabouts have proven to reduce fatalities by 90 percent, and greatly reduce injuries and the severity of crashes. With their lower speeds, these intersections are safer for pedestrians, cyclists, older drivers and novice drivers. Get more information, including diagrams and information on how to use a roundabout at www.ridot.net/roundabouts.

Construction will continue through 2024 on this project, largely involving demolition of the old bridge and portions of the Henderson Expressway. Final completion of the project is expected in summer 2025.

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.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Transportation
  • Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov
  • Release date: 11-10-2023

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