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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|
|Virtual Town Hall Meeting Questions and Answers|
|Pell Bridge Ramps Environmental Assessment|
Demolition and excavation will continue for the former roadway/ramp just west of the JT Connell Connector in preparation for the new intersection. Gravel will be installed for the road widening for the on-ramp from the JT Connell Connector. Drainage and electrical work will be completed along the Connector Road, JT Connell Highway, and if time allows, America’s Cup Avenue. The bridge rehabilitation and demolition work will continue along Route 138 for the overpasses and which may require temporary lane shifts along Third Street and JT Connell Highway. Flaggers and police details will be onsite to guide vehicles through the work zones.
|Click here for the latest lane closure information|