Friday, July 31, 2009

Segment of Coventry Greenway closed during construction

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that is has closed a portion of the Coventry Greenway in the eastern part of Coventry from Whitford Street, close to the West Warwick line, to Station Street in Coventry. The path is under construction and the Department expects to re-open it in Summer 2010.

RIDOT recently awarded a $1.6 million contract to J.H. Lynch, Inc. of Cumberland to pave this portion of the Coventry Greenway, which has a gravel surface with paved bike path segments at either end. The path is being constructed along a former rail corridor owned by the Town of Coventry.

RIDOT asks that cyclists and pedestrians refrain from accessing the path until construction is complete. Three bridge crossings along this segment of the Coventry Greenway will be blocked off.

The contract also provides funds to make minor drainage and handicapped accessibility improvements to the nearby West Warwick Greenway.

When completed, this new segment will join the rest of the Coventry Greenway and three other paths – the West Warwick Greenway, Warwick Bike Path and the Cranston Bike Path – to form a 14.2-mile continuous bike path from Cranston to Central Coventry. Collectively the paths are known as the Washington Secondary Bike Path, and will become the second-longest bike path in Rhode Island behind the 14.5-mile East Bay Bike Path.

Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007

RIDOT Travel Advisories

The RIDOT weekly traffic forecast for August 1-7, 2009 is now available online at:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

Good afternoon,

Tomorrow, Thursday, July 30, 2009 the R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) will be working on the Mt. Hope Bridge (Rte. 114) between Bristol and Portsmouth. The work will require lane closures resulting in a single lane, alternating traffic pattern during work hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes and expect delays.

RIDOT to Open Warren River Bridge to Traffic: Overnight Hours of Thursday, July 30, 2009


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to open the Warren River Bridge to traffic during the overnight hours tomorrow, Thursday, July 30, 2009, just in time for the Friday morning commute. All schedules are weather-dependent. The Warren River Bridge, originally built in 1914, carries 22,000 vehicles per day on Route 114 over the Palmer River in the Town of Warren.
“With the initial paving and safety related work completed, the Warren River Bridge will open to traffic overnight Thursday into Friday morning,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “We still anticipate some minor traffic disruptions, however, for the next few months while we complete the approach work, electrical and lighting work, and demolition of the temporary bridge.”
The new Warren River Bridge was advertised for construction in August 2005 and work began in Spring 2006. The new concrete box beam bridge is 264 feet in length, 73 feet longer than the original bridge, and 30 feet wide, curb to curb. The new bridge consists of concrete box beams with decorative concrete panels that replicate the original, concrete arches of the previous structure. There are four spans and three piers on the new bridge as opposed to three spans and two piers on the old.
The railing system includes a pedestrian rail with concrete pylons between rail sections supporting ornamental period lighting reflecting the history of what once was on the bridge. There are also 8-foot sidewalks on the new bridge as compared to 5-foot sidewalks on the old bridge.
Through a $16 million contract with Aetna Bridge, final completion of the project is scheduled for October 2009.

Friday, July 24, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Forecast

The RIDOT weekly traffic forecast for July 25-31, 2009 is now available online at:

Traffic Notice

RIDOT will reopen the ramp from Massasoit Avenue southbound to the Henderson Bridge this afternoon. Construction on the bridge will continue into the fall.

RIDOT Permanently Closing Central Avenue On-Ramp to Sakonnet River Bridge

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it will permanently close the on-ramp from Central Avenue in Tiverton to Route 24 South and the Sakonnet River Bridge on Monday, July 27, 2009. The closure is part of the ongoing project to build a new Sakonnet River Bridge.
Motorists who use the Central Avenue on-ramp can use Main Road to a newly reconstructed bridge and intersection to reach Route 24 South. The Main Road interchange (Exit 5) will be the primary access point to and from Route 24 from northeastern Tiverton. RIDOT also is making improvements to the nearby Fish Road interchange (Exit 6) with the installation of traffic signals.
RIDOT permanently closed the Central Avenue off-ramp from Route 24 North (Exit 4) on March 25. Both Central Avenue ramps are slated for demolition this year.
RIDOT in April awarded a $163.7 million contract to Cardi Corporation for the construction of the new Sakonnet River Bridge, which will be built south of the existing Sakonnet River Bridge. The Department anticipates the new bridge to open to traffic in 2012. The contract with Cardi Corporation includes incentive clauses which could result in the bridge opening to traffic one year earlier.
A map detailing these changes can be found online at Motorists can also contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Division at 222-2450 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -30-
Contact: Charles St. Martin, 40-222-1362 x. 4007

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Traffic Update

-The R.I. Turnpike & Bridge Authority is planning lane restrictions on the Mt. Hope Bridge, Saturday from 4 - 11 a.m. Seek alternate routes.
-Pawtucket: I-95 overnight lane restrictions for bridge inspection are canceled due to forecasted rain. Work will be rescheduled next week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reminder: I-95 North closure planned for tonight

Reminder: I-95 North to close tonight and tomorrow night for bridge demolition as part of the Iway project. Please visit for more details.

You can also download a map of the closure area showing suggested detours at:

I-295 or Rte. 10 is a good bypass to avoid the closure area.

Friday, July 17, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT weekly traffic forecast for July 18-24, 2009 is now available online at:

RIDOT Announces Overnight Closures of I-95 for Iway Related Demolitions

Full closures begin on Wednesday, July 22

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will close I-95 North in Providence during the overnight hours on various nights over the next two weeks. Lane closures begin on Monday, July 20, 2009 and full closures are scheduled for Wednesday, July 22 and Thursday, July 23.

RIDOT must close the highway to allow for the safe demolition of old I-195 bridges the Department took out of service in the past year as part of the Iway project. These include the bridges that once carried the ramp from I-95 South to I-195 East (closed in December 2008) and I-195 West to I-95 South (closed in June 2009).

The work zone will be between Exit 18 (Thurbers Ave.) and Exit 21 (Broadway); however motorists will be able to access Exit 19 to reach I-195 East. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes, using either I-295 or Route 10. Motorists on I-95 North in the Providence area will need to use Exit 18 and follow a city detour using Allens Avenue, Eddy Street, Dyer Street and Memorial Boulevard to return to I-95 North using the on-ramp adjacent to Providence Place Mall.

During the first week, motorists will find the following restrictions:

Monday & Tuesday, July 20-21: Left and center lanes closed on I-95 North
Wednesday & Thursday July 22-23: I-95 North closed

Lane restrictions will begin at approximately 8 p.m. each night. On evenings when full closures are scheduled, the highway will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. On nights when full closures are not needed but lane closures are needed, RIDOT will maintain at least one open lane. All lanes will be re-opened in time for the morning commute. All work and schedules are weather dependent.

RIDOT will use signage and electronic message boards to alert motorists of the closure and detour routes. Up-to-date traveler information will be available on the Department’s website, Information will also be accessible by dialing 511 (1-888-401-4511 for out of state callers), listening to 1630 AM on RIDOT’s Highway Advisory Radio, or by calling RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007

Thursday, July 16, 2009

RIDOT Announces Series of Bridge Postings

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it has reduced the posted weight limit for five bridges in the State. The postings are necessary to preserve the longevity of the bridges and ensure their continued safe use by motorists until they can be replaced or rehabilitated.

These bridges are located in Bristol, East Providence, Narragansett and Richmond. The average age of the bridges is more than 45 years old, which is the typical timeframe in which rehabilitation work is needed.

"The Department apologizes for any inconvenience these changes might cause, but safety is our number one priority," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "Setting weight limits are not desirable actions by the Department, but are necessary ones we must take based on the findings of our bridge inspections."

Some of the bridges being posted are scheduled for repair and/or replacement in the immediate future. Specific information on each bridge is listed below. The bridges and their limits include:


The bridge carrying Colt Drive over Mill Gut Lake in Colt State Park in Bristol. RIDOT has established an 18-ton limit for this bridge. The park sees limited truck traffic. At this time, RIDOT does not have an estimated timetable for repairs to this bridge.

East Providence

Two bridges at the Taunton Avenue interchange with I-195 in East Providence. These include the bridge that carries traffic on the off-ramp from I-195 East at Exit 4 (Riverside) to Veterans Memorial Parkway (posted at 14, 19 and 29 tons for two, three and five axle vehicles, respectively). The restriction does not affect traffic using the same off-ramp to reach Taunton Avenue.

The other bridge at this interchange carries traffic from Veterans Memorial Parkway to I-195 West. That bridge is now posted at 10, 13 and 21 tons for two, three and five axle vehicles, respectively.

Vehicles heavier than the posted limits should use the Warren Avenue, Broadway or Pawtucket Avenue interchanges to and from I-195 in East Providence. Veterans Memorial Parkway itself carries a 5-ton weight limit per State law, and as such, these bridges see limited use by trucks.
Both of these bridges are under design and RIDOT anticipates beginning rehabilitation projects for them in the next two years.


The bridge carrying traffic from Route 108 (Point Judith Road) to Route 1 North, adjacent to the intersection of Point Judith Road and South Pier Road. The bridge is now posted at 14, 24 and 29 tons for two, three and five axle vehicles, respectively. RIDOT has established a short detour for trucks by following Route 108 North to the Dillon Rotary and accessing a ramp there to Route 1 North.

This bridge is slated to be reconstructed soon along with the nearby bridges that carry Route 1 over Point Judith Road. These bridges will be repaired using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and construction should begin later this summer.


The bridge carrying Kings Factory Road over the Pawcatuck River. The bridge is now posted at 12, 14 and 25 tons for two, three and five axle vehicles, respectively. Kings Factory Road is a rural road connecting Route 91 to Route 1, and trucks can use either Route 216 or Route 112 as alternate routes to and from Route 1. At this time, RIDOT does not have an estimated timetable for repairs to this bridge.

RIDOT determined the weight limits after reviewing the results of recent bridge inspections. All 772 bridges in Rhode Island are inspected at least once every two years, and the Department inspects numerous bridges on a more frequent basis depending on their age and level of deterioration.

More information about the condition of Rhode Island’s bridges can be found online at Motorists can also contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Division at 222-2450 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

RIDOT Hosts Memorial Service for 71 Men, Women and Children Re-interred at State Institution Cemetery

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today hosted a memorial service to honor the lives of 71 men, women and children who were re-interred last year at State Institution Cemetery No. 2 on the Cranston/Warwick line. The event featured representation from numerous State and local agencies and organizations, both public and private, as well as some descendants of the deceased.

RIDOT arranged to have clergy members present to represent the faiths of the 71 individuals who were re-interred. Additional highlights included music, flowers on each gravestone, and a wreath laying ceremony by a national representative of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

“Ever since the remains of individuals were discovered, the Department has been committed to the task of seeing that they would be re-interred with dignity and honor and that their graves would not be lost,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “I am proud to stand here today to see the fulfillment of that pledge.”

Heavy rains and subsequent erosion exposed human remains in late June 2006 on the northern side of Route 37 in Cranston, behind the former Davol manufacturing building on Sockanosset Cross Road. It was determined that the remains, dating from the 1887 to 1917, were from the unmarked State Farm Cemetery.

When Route 37 was built in the early 1960s, State and Federal laws did not mandate the many approval and review processes RIDOT follows today prior to construction. With the property simply marked on most maps as state-owned, and the original wooden markers long deteriorated, the highway was inadvertently constructed over a portion of this cemetery.

To correct the drainage problems with the highway, RIDOT needed to construct a new drainage swale on the side of the highway, which required minor excavation. During this phase, the majority of the remains were discovered and removed with the assistance of an archeologist. RIDOT hired archeological firm PAL, Inc. of Pawtucket to carefully remove the remains, catalog them, identify them, and conduct genealogical research to identify lineal descendants.

The process of identifying the remains was difficult because of the lack of headstones; however RIDOT discovered lead coffin nameplates with nearly every grave shaft. The findings were evidence to the sparse lives these people lived and how they were laid to rest. Along with their skeletal remains, only glass buttons from the hospital gowns they were buried in, along with an occasional ring or hair comb, were the only items recovered.

In the late nineteenth century, the State Farm (later renamed as the Howard Complex) was overcrowded with poor sanitary conditions. Diseases, particularly tuberculosis, were rampant among the population with a high death rate. Records indicate that approximately one quarter of the persons who died at the State Farm were buried there. They were brought to the grave by a horse driven hearse, often by a prisoner from the then House of Corrections. Their graves were only occasionally adorned with buttercups and other wildflowers that happened to be growing in the cemetery. There were no mourners and no other family to claim them for reburial elsewhere such as a family plot or private cemetery.

RIDOT was able to locate detailed information on each person, including where they lived in State care, how they died, their nationalities and their religious preference. The Department has had correspondence from numerous individuals trying to ascertain if they were related or not to one of the re-interred individuals. Connections were made with actual descendants, some of whom were in attendance at today’s ceremony.

Working with the cities of Warwick and Cranston, the Pawtuxet River Authority, the R.I. Veterans Cemetery and numerous other agencies, RIDOT was able to rebury these people at the State Institution Cemetery No. 2 in June 2008. In April, RIDOT installed granite markers at each gravesite and later planted grass seed in preparation for a memorial ceremony to bring closure for these individuals and their families.

Lastly, RIDOT will be working to develop a vertical monument for the State Farm Cemetery so the original cemetery will be properly identified in perpetuity. The memorial is being designed by the award-winning firm of Bradford Associates, who last assisted RIDOT in developing the 1st Regiment Memorial at Patriots Park in Portsmouth.

Contact: Charles St. Martin, 401-222-1362 ext. 4007

Monday, July 13, 2009

RIDOT to Host Memorial Service for 71 Men, Women and Children Re-Interred at State Cemetery

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is hosting a memorial service tomorrow, Tuesday, July 14 at 2 p.m. to honor the lives of 71 men, women and children who were re-interred last year at State Institution Cemetery No. 2 on the Cranston/Warwick line. Their graves were relocated from the unmarked State Farm Cemetery adjacent to Route 37 in Cranston. Heavy rains and erosion exposed their remains in the summer of 2006, and a subsequent project to improve drainage from the highway necessitated this relocation.

Expected speakers at the ceremony include RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, R.I. Department of Mental Health, Retardation & Hospitals Director Craig S. Stenning, and H. Reed Cosper, Director of the R.I. Office of the Mental Health Advocate. RIDOT also has arranged to have clergy members present representing the faiths of the 71 individuals who were re-interred.

The ceremony represents the culmination of three years of work by RIDOT and numerous State and private agencies and organizations to properly identify all individuals and relocate them to another cemetery with permanent markers so their graves would never be lost again.
See maps below for directions to the location of the memorial service.


Directions: State Institutions Cemetery No. 2 is located on the Cranston/Warwick line at the corner of Pontiac Avenue and Knight Street, close to the Pawtuxet River. From I-95, take Exit 14 and follow signs to Rte. 37 West. Take Exit 3 to Pontiac Avenue. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and follow Pontiac Avenue for approximately 1 mile. Turn left to follow Pontiac Avenue, just past the entrance to the John O. Pastore Center. Continue on Pontiac Avenue approximately one half-mile to the Cemetery.
Parking is available along the east side of Pontiac Avenue and along the edges of the access road to the City Line business park (look for the Kent Home Medical Equipment sign).

Friday, July 10, 2009

RIDOT Travel Advisories

RIDOT's weekly travel forecast for July 11-17, 2009 is now online. Visit

Friday, July 3, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT weekly traffic forecast for July 4-10, 2009 is now available online at:

Current Traffic Incidents

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