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This project will replace the 1,295-foot long northbound section of the Providence Viaduct Bridge which carries I-95 over numerous local roads and highway ramps, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and the Woonasquatucket River. This section of I-95 carries more than 220,000 vehicles per day. It is the busiest section of I-95 in Rhode Island and one of the most heavily trafficked highway bridges on the East Coast.
Construction of the Viaduct Northbound is thanks in large part to the efforts of Rhode Island's Congressional delegation, which secured a $60.3 million federal INFRA grant for the project. Our project includes the construction of a new collector-distributor (C-D) road along the right side of the Interstate. This eliminates the weaving conflicts and congestion that plague the segment of I-95 Northbound from the 6/10 Connector and Downtown on-ramps to the Route 146/State Offices interchange.
We also will reconfigure ramps to disentangle conflicting movements, improving motorist safety and comfort, and reducing congestion and delay. The new ramp system will provide more efficient connections among I-95, the 6/10 Connector, and Route 146. This new configuration will vastly improve the crippling congestion caused by traffic trying to access I-95 northbound from the 6/10 Connector and by traffic trying to exit I-95 to access Route 146 or the state offices.
An earlier design for Providence Viaduct Northbound called for reusing the bridge during construction but the winning proposal by Skanska/Manafort presented a solution that saved a year of time and approximately $1 million.
RIDOT opened a new bridge to connect I-95 North to Route 146 at Exit 38A (old Exit 23). The Department has installed numerous signs for motorists to direct them to the appropriate lane based on their destination. Drivers should drive carefully through the work zone and follow the signs:
To assist any motorists who mistakenly miss the new Route 146 exit and take the State Offices exit, RIDOT has installed trailblazing signs to direct drivers to get onto Route 146 North.
We are not only replacing the Viaduct, but will rebuild 11 bridges in total, many of which are of critical safety concern and will correct the inefficiencies, congestion and safety issues that exist today. Among them:
Construction began in spring 2021 and will provide benefits to motorists in the near term, well ahead of the final project completion date of summer 2025. The initial phase involved demolition of the old bridge segment which originally carried I-95 South traffic.
Another major milestone will be the opening of the new C/D road to handle on and off ramp traffic for State Offices, the 6/10 Connector and Route 146. That will happen in late 2023.
Various ramps within the I-95 North/Exit 37 interchange and the on-ramp from Atwells Avenue to I-95 North will be closed for material deliveries, Sunday-Thursday nights, from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and alternating lanes will be closed, Sunday-Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for material deliveries and work at the Smith Street Bridge. Park Street, from Hayes Street to Smith Street, will also be closed for curb and sidewalk work, Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please follow signed detours during all closures.
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