Over the next several months, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be testing new traffic patterns with the goal of alleviating some of the congestion leading up to and on the Washington Bridge. These new patterns will be based on traffic modeling by RIDOT engineers.
Starting at 10 p.m. on Friday night, February 2, the department will begin reducing the number of lanes on I-195 West, from three lanes to two lanes, starting east of the East Shore Expressway entrance to I-195 West. This will expedite travel for those entering I-195 West from the East Shore Expressway, Pawtucket Avenue and Broadway. The department has modeled this traffic pattern and the model appears to show that creating a merge east of the East Shore Expressway should reduce travel time. This pattern will allow those using the East Shore Expressway, Pawtucket Avenue and Broadway ramps to merge more easily.
As is done with other traffic pattern shifts, RIDOT will test the new pattern on Friday night, monitor its impact closely throughout the weekend and the beginning of the work week (Monday and Tuesday). At the end of the test, RIDOT engineers will decide whether to keep the pattern in place or reverse it based on its effectiveness. RIDOT will use barrels to mark the new pattern to allow for any necessary changes or reversal to be made swiftly.