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Travel Advisory Reminder: Lane Split Scheduled for May 31 on Route 146 North at Sayles Hill Road in North Smithfield

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that starting tonight, Friday, May 31, it will change the traffic pattern on Route 146 North at the Sayles Hill Road intersection in North Smithfield. The Department will be opening the first one-third of the new flyover bridge it is building to reduce congestion and make the intersection safer.

There will be a lane split approaching the intersection, but all lanes go through onto Route 146 North. Drivers should not suddenly change lanes at the split.

As motorists approach the intersection, they can use either:

  • Left lane: For through traffic only on Route 146. The left lane bypasses the traffic signal and does not provide access for turns onto Sayles Hill Road.
  • Right lane: For both local traffic turning onto Sayles Hill Road and through traffic on Route 146. The right lane does provide access for turns and must be used for accessing the Anchor car dealerships, Iron Mine Road or making a U-turn to reach businesses along the southbound side of Route 146.

The change does not affect Route 146 South, or any other turning lanes onto or off of Route 146.

RIDOT is making this change so it can continue construction at the new intersection, which includes widening the road and building a new flyover bridge for Route 146 traffic to pass over Sayles Hill Road. This traffic pattern is temporary and will be in place until the fall. It will be followed by a series of different shifts involving both sides of Route 146.

Between the time of this temporary traffic change and the completion of the bridge, different directions and lanes of Route 146 will use sections of the new flyover bridge on a temporary basis. When fully built in late 2025, the flyover bridge will eliminate the need for any traffic signals for Route 146 through traffic at Sayles Hill Road, the only traffic light on all of Route 146. More than 85 crashes occur each year at this intersection, and it is a source of significant congestion and travel delay.

The entire Route 146 Project includes greatly needed improvements to the Route 146 corridor, making it safer, improving transit connections, and reducing congestion and vehicle emissions. In addition to the flyover bridge, the project will replace or repair five bridges and repave 8 miles of roadway. Visit www.ridot.net/Route146 for more information.

The $196 million project was funded in part by a $65 million federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant the second largest the state ever received which was secured by Rhode Island's Congressional delegation. The entire project will be finished in summer 2026.

All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings and weather.

The Route 146 Project is made possible by RhodeWorks and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment 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.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Transportation
  • Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov
  • Release date: 05-31-2024

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