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In the 1960s the Pell Bridge and Interchange were completed, however the Route 138 northbound approach was never completed, which would have connected Newport to Route 24 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Then between 2001 through 2008, the Rhode Island Office of Statewide Planning identified the Aquidneck Island Travel Corridor as a major travel corridor of statewide significance. Long-range goals were established to the year 2020 including:
The Project was reactivated with the Aquidneck Island Transportation Study (AITS) in 2009 and then again in 2017 with the City of Newport's economic plan to create an "Innovation District".
Traffic volumes on the Aquidneck Island bridges and roadways have increased significantly over the past 40 years. This traffic increase is attributable to many factors, including more households spread among different locations on the Island, increasing levels of automobile ownership, changing commuting patterns, and increased tourism. Safety continues to be a major concern of the Island community. These concerns were elevated following several pedestrian fatalities along Island roadways caused in part by the increasing difficulty in safely crossing major streets.
The project is divided into two phases:
|New Halsey Street and Admiral Kalbfus Road Overview|
|New Admiral Kalbfus Road Overview with removal of Rte. 238 Overpass|
|Reconstruction of the Pell Bridge Approaches Virtual Town Hall Meeting slideshow|
|Pell Bridge Ramps Re-evaluation|
|Pell Bridge Ramps Environmental Assessment|
On Admiral Kalbfus Road South, we will do traffic signal work, and install curbing and sidewalk, landscaping along the slopes, and earthwork. Drainage and electrical work are also expected along JT Connell Highway between the JT Connell Connector and Van Zandt Avenue intersection, and paving and other ongoing bridge rehabilitation work along Route 138 at the Third Street, Newport Secondary, and the JT Connell Highway overpasses. These operations may require temporary lane shifts along Third Street and JT Connell Highway.
Businesses remain open during construction, and Navy Base commuters may use the JT Connell roadway south of the roundabout and the Connector Road for an easy alternative access point to the bridge.
|Click here for the latest lane closure information|