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The $78 million Washington Bridge project is much more than a bridge project. While it will address the structural deficiencies of the westbound portion of the Washington Bridge, which carries I-195 over the Seekonk River between East Providence and Providence, it also includes a new off-ramp to support economic development opportunities and address chronic congestion issues on the Interstate.
Thanks to the efforts of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation in support of a $25 million federal BUILD grant, we can expand the project to include a new exit to Waterfront Drive in East Providence – providing access to dozens of acres of developable land. We also will construct an additional through lane on the bridge to better accommodate Interstate traffic and the high volume of traffic entering the highway from the Veterans Memorial Parkway, Warren Avenue and Taunton Avenue ramps.
The bridge carries more than 96,000 vehicles per day and is one of the busiest sections of Interstate highway in Rhode Island. It is the source of chronic congestion with backups often extending as far back as the Massachusetts state line, particularly during the morning rush hour. When the project is done, the average morning commute from the state line to I-95 will be trimmed by 40 percent, from 16 minutes to 9.5 minutes.
A new traffic pattern is in place on I-195 West for Washington Bridge construction. We expect this to create travel time delays for I-195 West traffic and for those entering I-195 West using the on-ramp from Taunton Avenue, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Warren Avenue. RIDOT is maintaining four lanes of traffic on I-195 and all lanes go through.
The changes include:
Median barrier work will require overnight lane closures on I-195 in addition to overnight bridge deck repairs. Overnight drainage work will require closures on the on-ramp from Taunton Avenue towards I-195 West for a short duration. Bridge work on Valley Street will also require lane closures for one night.
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