Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New lane restriction for I-95 South in Warwick


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will be placing Jersey barriers along a section of I-95 South at Exit 8 (Rte. 2) on the Warwick/West Warwick line. This will slightly restrict the width of a lane used by traffic entering and exiting the highway.

RIDOT is implementing this restriction due to a damaged steel beam under the bridge that was discovered during a recent inspection. The bridge was apparently struck by a large vehicle heading south on Route 2 under the highway overpass.

The lane restriction will reduce loading on that portion of the bridge. RIDOT expects to replace the entire bridge beginning in 2011.

The same bridge was damaged by another apparent vehicle strike, but on the opposite side, affecting I-95 North. In August 2008, RIDOT shifted all travel lanes away from the damaged beam.

This new restriction for I-95 South is not as intrusive as the one on I-95 North, but will impact traffic using the ramp from Route 2 North to I-95 South. Motorists will have a shorter distance than they did before to merge with traffic. Additionally, motorists using Exit 8 will have a shorter deceleration lane for the off-ramp. RIDOT urges all motorists – those using the ramps as well as through traffic – to reduce speed and exercise caution when driving on this section of I-95.

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

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Note: Anyone with information pertaining to the crash that caused this damage is urged to contact the R.I. State Police at 401-444-1000.

Friday, September 25, 2009

RIDOT Travel Advisories

The RIDOT Travel Forecast for September 26 - October 2, 2009 is now available at: www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

RIDOT to Delay I-95 North Changes in Providence Until Monday Night Due to Expected Rain

Due to the heavy rain that is expected this Sunday, September 27 the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will delay the start of construction for the new traffic pattern on I-95 North until Tuesday, September 29.

This change is being made as part of the Iway project and is expected to cause traffic congestion. Currently vehicles traveling on I-95 North between I-195 East, Exit 19 and Broadway, Exit 21 are shifted to the right allowing construction to take place between I-95 North and South. Beginning Monday night, September 28 crews will reconfigure these lanes so that the next portion of the new I-95 North roadway can be built.

To allow this to happen the three lanes will be shifted to the left onto the new section of highway, prior to the Point Street Overpass, and then split. Drivers who want to take Broadway, Exit 21 must be in the right lane before the split. The two left lanes will be separate from the right lane and will not rejoin the main flow of traffic until after Exit 21. All three lanes will continue on I-95 North. Construction will take place between the right lane and the two left lanes which will be separated by barrels and Jersey barrier.

“Drivers need to plan ahead and be in the right lane to access Exit 21,” said Michael P. Lewis, RIDOT’s Director. “All three lanes let you continue on I-95, but only the right lane will let you take the Broadway exit.”

This phase of the Iway project builds a new roadway in the same footprint of the current roadway alignment. Because traffic must continue to use the road while construction is taking place available work space is limited. Traffic delays will occur. It is expected that building this portion of this highway will last approximately 5 – 7 weeks, weather permitting.

Another challenge is that traffic from I-195 West will be merging into this portion of I-95 North. The merge drivers experience here today will also affect the new split traffic pattern.

Drivers who miss the Broadway exit should get off the highway at the next exit, Exit 22A, Downtown to Memorial Boulevard, in order to get to their destination. Stopping or reversing on the Interstate is dangerous and is prohibited.

Fixed and variable electronic signage will be used to alert drivers of the changes as they approach the construction zone.

“Congestion is expected in this part of the construction zone,” said Lewis. “Drivers will most likely encounter slower speeds, and we apologize for the inconvenience, but this is a necessary step in the project.”

Drivers are strongly encouraged to take alternate routes and build more time into their travel plans. Motorists can take I-295, Route 10, as well as the local streets to avoid being in the construction area.

Maps and additional information is available on the RIDOT website, www.dot.ri.gov. Drivers with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 401-222-2450.

This change is the first of several motorists will experience before the end of the year. Traffic patterns changes on I-95 South are expected to take place in October. A new ramp from I-95 North to Point Street (new Exit 20) will open in about a month.

The new ramp from I-195 West to I-95 North is expected to open in early November. This final opening phase of the Iway will put all traffic on the new highway and permanently close the old I-195 facility.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Second lane shift completed on I-95 in West Greenwich


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has completed the establishment of a split-lane traffic pattern on I-95 South in West Greenwich. Last week RIDOT established a split-lane traffic pattern on I-95 North. The new traffic pattern maintains two lanes of travel, but the lanes are separated by a temporary barrier.

The shift is between Exit 5 (Route 102) and Exit 6 (Route 3). Various lane restrictions are possible as construction on the Weaver Hill Road Bridge continues this fall, with one lane closed this coming week, Sunday through Tuesday, during overnight hours (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) each night.

The split-lane traffic pattern will be in place for approximately two months.

The $4.4 million project began earlier this year and is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2011. The project involves rehabilitation and widening of two separate bridge structures that carry I-95 North and South over Weaver Hill Road, approximately 1 mile south of Exit 6. The bridges are 41 years old.

Oversized vehicles will be diverted onto Route 3 at Exits 5 and 6 to detour around the construction area.

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

RIDOT to Hold Media Availability in Advance of I-95 North Changes in Providence

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will hold a media availability on Friday, September 25, 2009 at 10:45 a.m. on the Point Street Overpass in Providence. RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis will be on hand to answer questions and do interviews on the changes that will be taking place on I-95 North next week.

This briefing is being held so that motorists can be alerted to the new traffic pattern that will be in place starting on Monday, September 28. This change is being made as part of the Iway project and is expected to cause traffic congestion.

Currently vehicles traveling on I-95 North between I-195 East, Exit 19 and Broadway, Exit 21 are shifted to the right allowing construction to take place between I-95 North and South. Beginning Sunday night, September 27 crews will reconfigure these lanes so that the next portion of the new I-95 North roadway can be built.

To allow this to happen the three lanes will be shifted to the left onto the new section of highway, prior to the Point Street Overpass, and then split. Drivers who want to take Broadway, Exit 21 must be in the right lane before the split. The two left lanes will be separate from the right lane and will not rejoin the main flow of traffic until after Exit 21. All three lanes will continue on I-95 North. Construction will take place between the right lane and the two left lanes which will be separated by barrels and Jersey barrier.

“Drivers need to plan ahead and be in the right lane to access Exit 21,” said Michael P. Lewis, RIDOT’s Director. “All three lanes let you continue on I-95, but only the right lane will let you take the Broadway exit.”

This phase of the Iway project builds a new roadway in the same footprint of the current roadway alignment. Because traffic must continue to use the road while construction is taking place available work space is limited. Traffic delays will occur. It is expected that building this portion of this highway will last approximately 5 – 7 weeks, weather permitting.

Another challenge is that traffic from I-195 West will be merging into this portion of I-95 North. The merge drivers experience here today will also affect the new split traffic pattern.

Drivers who miss the Broadway exit should get off the highway at the next exit, Exit 22A, Downtown to Memorial Boulevard, in order to get to their destination. Stopping or reversing on the Interstate is dangerous and is prohibited.

Fixed and variable electronic signage will be used to alert drivers of the changes as they approach the construction zone.

“Congestion is expected in this part of the construction zone,” said Lewis. “Drivers will most likely encounter slower speeds, and we apologize for the inconvenience, but this is a necessary step in the project.”

Drivers are strongly encouraged to take alternate routes and build more time into their travel plans. Motorists can take I-295, Route 10, as well as the local streets to avoid being in the construction area.

Maps and additional information is available on the RIDOT website, www.dot.ri.gov. Drivers with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 401-222-2450.

This change is the first of several motorists will experience before the end of the year. Traffic patterns changes on I-95 South are expected to take place in October. A new ramp from I-95 North to Point Street (new Exit 20) will open in about a month.

The new ramp from I-195 West to I-95 North is expected to open in early November. This final opening phase of the Iway will put all traffic on the new highway and permanently close the old I-195 facility.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

RIDOT ARRA Project to Improve Hartford Avenue in Johnston

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has begun reconstructing Hartford Avenue in Johnston as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Road improvements to the area between I-295 and Atwood Avenue mean that a developer’s plans to rebuild the area will also move forward.

The .65 miles of roadway will see a reconstruction that will include removal of the concrete road base, new curbing and sidewalks, and a widening of the road to provide a fifth center turning lane west of Shaw’s supermarket. There will also be new water, gas and sewer lines installed as well as a new drainage system, the installation of fiber optics and a new traffic signal system. The Pocasset River Sluiceway will also be widened.

“This $3.4 million project will vastly improve this main thoroughfare in Johnston,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “ARRA projects such as this one are providing more jobs and improving more miles of roadway than could have ever been done with just the regular federal funds.”

“I am very happy the DOT is using the stimulus dollars to improve a major thoroughfare through our town,” said Johnston Mayor Joseph M. Polisena. “This will expedite the development of the Stuarts Plaza, which has been vacant for 18 years.”

The first phase of development by the Saletin Real Estate Group is expected to include a 63,000 square foot retail anchor, two restaurants, a free standing bank branch and a 100 room hotel. Saletin Group has been working on redevelopment plans for this location for over two years.

“The DOT’s plans to widen the road, add traffic signals, and make other improvements have motivated our tenants and development team to meet the DOT’s new schedule,” said Jeffrey Saletin, President of the Saletin Real Estate Group. “This, combined with help and leadership from Mayor Polisena and the Town Council of Johnston, has gotten this $20,000,000 development moving forward.”

“Without the Stimulus funds and the cooperation of the DOT, this project would not have become a reality. I want to personally thank the DOT Director and the men and women of the Department for making this project a reality,” said Mayor Polisena.

RIDOT’s reconstruction of Hartford Avenue is expected to be completed in Fall 2010.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Monday, September 21, 2009

RIDOT to Change I-95 North Traffic Pattern in Providence

Starting Monday, September 28 the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will implement a new traffic pattern on I-95 North. This change is being made as part of the Iway project and is expected to cause traffic congestion.

Currently vehicles traveling on I-95 North between I-195 East, Exit 19 and Broadway, Exit 21 are shifted to the right allowing construction to take place between I-95 North and South. Beginning Sunday night, September 27 crews will reconfigure these lanes so that the next portion of the new I-95 North roadway can be built.

To allow this to happen the three lanes will be shifted to the left onto the new section of highway, prior to the Point Street Overpass, and then split. Drivers who want to take Broadway, Exit 21 must be in the right lane before the split. The two left lanes will be separate from the right lane and will not rejoin the main flow of traffic until after Exit 21. All three lanes will continue on I-95 North. Construction will take place between the right lane and the two left lanes which will be separated by barrels and Jersey barrier.

“Just as drivers now experience on I-195 West there will be a physical barrier between the lanes. Drivers must plan ahead,” said Michael P. Lewis, RIDOT’s Director. “In order to get where they want to go motorists should be in the correct lane as soon as they pass Exit 19 for the Iway.”

This phase of the Iway project builds a new roadway in the same footprint of the current roadway alignment. Because traffic must continue to use the road while construction is taking place available work space is limited. Traffic delays will occur. It is expected that building this portion of this highway will last approximately 5 – 7 weeks, weather permitting.

Another challenge is that traffic from I-195 West will be merging into this portion of I-95 North. The merge drivers experience here today will also affect the new split traffic pattern.

Drivers who miss the Broadway exit should get off the highway at the next exit, Exit 22A, Downtown to Memorial Boulevard, in order to get to their destination. Stopping or reversing on the Interstate is dangerous and is prohibited.

Fixed and variable electronic signage will be used to alert drivers of the changes as they approach the construction zone.

“As construction continues, drivers will have narrow lanes and slower speeds to contend with,” said Lewis. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is a necessary step in completing the overall project improvements.”

Drivers are strongly encouraged to take alternate routes and build more time into their travel plans. Motorists can take I-295, Route 10, as well as the local streets to avoid being in the construction area.

Maps and additional information is available on the RIDOT website, www.dot.ri.gov. Drivers with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 401-222-2450.

This change is the first of several motorists will experience before the end of the year. Traffic patterns changes on I-95 South are expected to take place in October. A new ramp from I-95 North to Point Street (new Exit 20) will open in about a month.

The new ramp from I-195 West to I-95 North is expected to open in early November. This final opening phase of the Iway will put all traffic on the new highway and permanently close the old I-195 facility.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lane shift planned on I-95 in West Greenwich


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will shift travel lanes on I-95 North in West Greenwich beginning Sunday night, September 20, 2009, as part of the Weaver Hill Road Bridge rehabilitation project. The new traffic pattern will maintain two lanes of travel, but the lanes will be separated by a temporary barrier.

The shift will take place between Exit 5 (Route 102) and Exit 6 (Route 3). One lane will be closed Sunday through Tuesday during overnight hours to establish the new traffic pattern and to demolish a portion of the existing bridge.

The split-lane traffic pattern will be in place for approximately two months. RIDOT expects to establish a similar split-lane traffic pattern for I-95 South in the near future.

The $4.4 million project began early this year and is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2011. The project involves rehabilitation and widening of two separate bridge structures that carry I-95 North and South over Weaver Hill Road, approximately 1 mile south of Exit 6. The bridges are 41 years old.

Oversized vehicles will be diverted onto Route 3 at Exit 5 to detour around the construction area.

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

RIDOT Travel Advisories

The RIDOT Travel Advisories for September 19-25, 2009 is now available at: www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Route 123 culvert repair project continues this weekend


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will continue repairs to a culvert on Great Road (Route 123) beginning tomorrow night, Friday, September 18, 2009. This work will take place just west of the intersection with Old River Road (Route 126), close to the historic Moffitt Mill where Great Road passes over the Moshassuck River.

The construction will require the closure of a travel lane and the establishment of a single-lane alternating traffic pattern beginning at 8 p.m. The pattern will be in place throughout the weekend with two lanes expected to be restored by early Monday morning. The same travel restriction was in place last month during the first phase of the repair project. All schedules are weather dependent.

An inspection of the culvert in July found significant concrete deterioration. The work will involve the pouring of a new concrete deck over the existing culvert and pavement of an asphalt driving surface. While the concrete placement work is expected to be completed early Saturday, the concrete must be allowed to cure through the remainder of the weekend before traffic can drive over that portion of the road.

Police officers will be present throughout the operation directing traffic through the construction zone. Motorists can expect delays in this area, particularly on Saturday when traffic volumes are higher. Drivers are urged to seek alternate routes, and the Department recommends the use of Old River Road (Route 126) and George Washington Highway (Route 116) for traffic coming to and from Route 146.

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

Overnight Closures Continue for Portion of Route 146

As part of the ongoing demolition of the Great Road Bridge in North Smithfield, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will close Route 146 Northbound and Southbound for three additional nights at the Forestdale exit from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The closures will occur Sunday through Tuesday, September 20 – 22, 2009, weather permitting.

A short detour will be posted around the closed portion of the highway. Motorists traveling on Route 146 Northbound can exit at School Street and then get back on the highway after the Great Road Bridge, while those traveling on Route 146 Southbound can exit at Great Road and then get back on the highway after the Great Road Bridge.

The Great Road Bridge carries Route 146A (Great Road) over Route 146 in North Smithfield. Originally built in 1959, the bridge is being demolished as part of a bridge replacement project. Construction began in 2007 and the project is slated for completion next year.

RIDOT Completes First ARRA Project

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has completed its first American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project, the resurfacing of nearly two miles of Route 44 (Putnam Pike) in Gloucester. The project limits are from the RIDOT Maintenance Facility to Route 102, Tourtellotte Hill Road.

This $1.2 million project started on June 17, 2009 and wrapped up this Monday, September 14. The low bid came in under the engineer’s estimate of $1.6 million. T. Miozzi Inc. of North Kingstown, Rhode Island was the contractor.

The project consisted of cold planning and resurfacing as well as the removal and replacement of bituminous berm, steel beam guardrail, and signs. Catch basins were cleaned and pipes were flushed. In addition, there was reconstruction of drainage structures, replacement of drainage pipe, erosion control, and the placement of permanent epoxy resin pavement markings.

“ARRA funding has given Rhode Island the opportunity to do over 50 more construction projects than we would otherwise have been able to fund,” said Michael P. Lewis, RIDOT Director. “Overall Rhode Island received $138 million and the entire program is expected to create 1,500 direct jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs.”

The Route 44 resurfacing project employed 71 people over the course of the project.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lane closures planned for Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge

Lane closures planned for Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be closing lanes on Route 138 on the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15 through Thursday September 17, 2009.

The closures are needed for a bridge maintenance project and each closure will be in place for approximately 30 hours. The extended closure is needed to allow concrete to cure before opening the lane to traffic. RIDOT will be able to reopen the lanes temporarily on Wednesday and Thursday from 5-9 a.m. for the morning commute.

The lane closure schedule is as follows:

• Tuesday: Left lane closed on Route 138 East at 9 a.m.
• Wednesday: Left lane closed on Route 138 West at 9 a.m.

The lane reopening schedule is as follows:

• Wednesday: Left lane reopened on Route 138 East at 3 p.m.
• Thursday: Left lane reopened on Route 138 West at 3 p.m.
• Wednesday & Thursday: Lanes reopened from 5-9 a.m. for the morning rush hour.

Motorists may encounter delays, particularly at the beginning and end of the lane closure period. At all times at least one lane of travel will be open to traffic. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for September 12-18, 2009 is now available at: www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Child Passenger Safety Week Highlights New Booster Seat Law

In observance of National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 12-18, 2009) the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is highlighting the new booster seat law that follows the best practices recommended by safety experts for the safe transport of children.

“For the safety of all passengers, we want to remind parents and caregivers just how important it is to properly restrain a child while traveling in a motor vehicle,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “The goal is to decrease injuries and deaths to our children riding in our motor vehicles. If caregivers buckle up and children are properly restrained, motor vehicle injuries and fatalities will be greatly reduced.”

The new law that went into effect on July 1, 2009 states that children up to their eighth birthday, unless they are 4’9” (57 inches) tall or 80 pounds in weight, must ride in appropriate child restraint seats. The previous law required that children up to their seventh birthday had to ride in the appropriate child restraint seat, unless they were 54 inches in height or 80 pounds in weight.

In enacting this change in the law, the Rhode Island General Assembly followed the safety recommendations of the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for transporting children. Thanks to the law’s passage by the July 1, 2009, deadline, Rhode Island received over $92,000 which will be utilized this year to purchase booster seats, disseminate information about the new law, conduct car seat checks, and train Child Passenger Safety technicians. Rhode Island joins at least 19 other states in passing this law, including our New England neighbors of Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont.

National Child Passenger Safety Week is designed to bring attention to the importance of properly securing all children in appropriate child safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts – every trip, every time. From 1975 through 2007, an estimated 8,709 lives were saved by child restraints (child safety seats or seat belts).

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NEW RHODE ISLAND CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY LAW


Effective July 1, 2009:
- Children up to their eighth birthday, unless they are four feet, nine inches (57 inches) tall or 80 pounds in weight, must ride in appropriate child restraints. (The former requirements were up to the seventh birthday, less than 54 inches in height with the same 80 pound weight exemption.)
o As before, infants must ride in REAR-facing child restraints to at least one year of age and 20 pounds. (It is best to keep them rear facing up to the maximum weight of the seat as listed by the manufacturer for rear facing use, which may exceed 20 pounds.)
o Once a child has exceeded the maximum weight limit of a child safety seat (FORWARD facing), booster seats must be used for children from age four to their eighth birthday, unless they are four feet, nine inches tall (57 inches) or weigh 80 pounds. Any child over age 8 or 57 inches or 80 pounds in weight must wear a seatbelt, either with or without a booster seat.
o In Rhode Island, there is a primary law (i.e., vehicle may be stopped without any other violation) if anyone under the age of 18 is not properly restrained. The driver of the vehicle is responsible to ensure that all passengers are properly restrained and for any violations.

As always, children under age 8 must be properly restrained in the back seat, where practical to do so, unless the number of children being transported exceeds the number of rear-seating positions. (In such instances, the oldest child should sit in the front with the seat adjusted as far back as possible.) A rear-facing child safety seat may NEVER be positioned in a front seating position in front of an active air bag.

RIDOT limiting access to local street near Barrington Bridge


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it will be closing access to a local street near the Barrington Bridge so the Department can proceed with construction of a retaining wall associated with the new bridge.

As of Monday morning, September 14, 2009, motorists heading south on Route 114 (County Road) will no longer be able to take a right turn onto Mathewson Road. Instead, they should follow a detour using Rumstick Road to Jennys Lane to return to Mathewson Road. The restriction does not impact traffic heading north on Rte. 114 as turns are not allowed onto the local street from that direction.

The restriction will in place through the end of this year. Construction of this retaining wall could not be done until all traffic was shifted to the new bridge, which took place on September 4. The construction area is at the foot of the temporary Barrington Bridge.

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

Overnight Closures Planned for Portion of Rt. 146

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has announced that as part of the continuing demolition of the Great Road Bridge in North Smithfield, Route 146 Northbound and Southbound will close for five nights at the Forestdale exit from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The closure dates are Sunday through Thursday, September 13 – 18, 2009, weather permitting.

A short detour will be posted around the closed portion of the highway. Motorists traveling on Route 146 Northbound can exit at School Street and then get back on the highway after the Great Road Bridge, while those traveling on Route 146 Southbound can exit at Great Road and then get back on the highway after the Great Road Bridge.

The Great Road Bridge carries Route 146A (Great Road) over Route 146 in North Smithfield. Originally built in 1959, the bridge is being demolished as part of a bridge replacement project. Construction began in 2007 and the project is slated for completion next year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The weekly RIDOT Travel Forecast for September 5-11, 2009 is now available.
Please see: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eastbound lane on Barrington Bridge opening tomorrow

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will open the eastbound lane of the new Barrington Bridge tomorrow, Friday, September 4, 2009. This movement will result in all traffic using the new bridge.

RIDOT opened the bridge to westbound traffic on August 26 and has completed construction on a short section of roadway that had to be built before the eastbound lane could be opened.

Construction will continue on the new Barrington Bridge through the fall. Occasional lane closures may be required. Pedestrian traffic will continue to use the temporary Barrington Bridge until demolition begins later this month. All schedules are weather-dependent.

The new Barrington Bridge is 418 feet long and 30 feet wide. It features wider sidewalks on both sides (eight feet versus five feet on the original bridge) with a protective rail between the sidewalk and travel lane. Additionally, period lighting will be installed on the bridge.

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Governor, RIDOT, RIEDC, and City of Providence Release I-195 Surplus Land Report

The Office of Governor Donald L. Carcieri, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), and the City of Providence have released the “Rhode Island Interstate 195 Relocation Surplus Land: Redevelopment and Marketing Analysis.” This report builds on plans for the land that will be opened up once the old I-195 is removed as part of the Iway project.

“The relocation of the old I-195 has created a tremendous economic development opportunity for the state and the City of Providence,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “With 36 acres of prime real estate available for commercial, residential and leisure activities, the development of this land will transform the City, continue to build upon our partnerships between education and business, and create jobs and strengthen our urban economic base.”

The report makes recommendations for redevelopment of the parcels of land that transform Providence and its riverfront. These parcels comprise 36 acres of new land in the Jewelry District, Old Harbor, Fox Point, and College Hill on either side of the Providence River north of the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier.

“When the Iway is fully open and the obsolete portion of I-195 comes down Providence will have an entirely new look,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “New streets will be built and old ones reconnected, giving Downcity opportunities for growth and expansion that haven’t been available in decades.”

The report points out three main objectives that will come from the re-use of the land: an increased tax base, economic development which will attract industries and jobs to the area, and urban revitalization. This will include waterfront access, park land, and a reconnection of old neighborhoods that were once sliced apart but will now come together again once the construction of the Iway is completed.

“With the relocation of Interstate195, the tear in the fabric of downtown will be repaired, and a new vibrant neighborhood can grow in the city,” said Thomas E. Deller, AICP, Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence.

While the completion of this revitalization project is several years in the making, the effects of this renewal can already be seen. The removal of Interstate overpasses has brightened areas that were once dark. Academic institutions have expressed interest in owning various pieces of land which will create a new landscape as well as bring jobs to the Ocean State.

“The relocation of I-195 represents a premier opportunity for Rhode Island to create a new hub of high-wage job growth with significant office and commercial space in the Jewelry District,” said RIEDC Interim Executive Director J. Michael Saul. “Years from now we will look at our capital city’s new skyline and see proof that the relocation plan was a transformative opportunity for Rhode Island’s economy.”

RIEDC will be taking the lead in the disposition of the land and the marketing of the parcels to local, national and international companies. The report will be used as an informational guide in the disposition process. While the report is not a new master plan for the area, it will focus activities that may affect implementation such as best use, zoning, and land sale.

Copies of the “Rhode Island Interstate 195 Relocation Surplus Land: Redevelopment and Marketing Analysis” are available on the RIDOT (www.dot.ri.gov), RIEDC (www.riedc.com) and Governor’s (www.gov.ri.gov) websites.

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