Traffic patterns will be changing on I-295 from Spring 2012 through Fall 2013 as RIDOT reconstructs the 690-foot long Blackstone Viaduct, which carries the Interstate over the Blackstone River, a Providence & Worcester Railroad line and a portion of the Blackstone Valley Bikeway. The bridge is located on the Lincoln/Cumberland line between Exits 9 and 10.
A key feature of these changes will the reduction of one travel lane (leaving only two on each direction of I-295 instead of three), along with a split-lane traffic configuration. For most of the construction, at least one direction of I-295 will have a traffic split. Motorists need to be careful and select the correct lane in order to reach an off-ramp.
Motorists may encounter daytime and overnight lane restrictions during construction. At least one lane of travel in each direction will be maintained at all times. Motorists wishing to access Exit 10 must use the right travel lane. All truck traffic will be directed to the left travel lane, which is wider. Because trucks will be in the left lane, they will not be able to access Exit 10 and must follow the detour route (see below).
Exit 10 may be closed periodically, and information on all closures and restrictions will be posted on RIDOTís Travel Advisories website. During the closure of Exit 10, motorists will be directed to the following detour using Exit 11 (Route 114/Diamond Hill Road):
RIDOT in late Summer was installing the bridge deck reinforcement and beginning the process of forming concrete deck sections. In early Fall, RIDOT will be building bridge parapet and rails can be placed. Prior to opening newly completed sections to traffic, the Department will pave the concrete deck with an asphalt riding surface.
Work on the Blackstone Viaduct also may require brief closures of the Blackstone River Bikeway.
The current traffic pattern is expected to shift in late Fall 2012. The same number of lanes will be available, but the split-traffic pattern will be removed.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.