Friday, October 30, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for October 31 - November 6, 2009 is now available. Please visit http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Take the Party to the Roadways: Have a Responsible and Safe Halloween

This morning during a press event in Warwick, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) reminded motorists that State and local law enforcement agencies will be stopping and arresting drunk drivers as part of an aggressive You Drink & Drive. You Lose. statewide enforcement effort.

Joined by members of the State and local law enforcement community and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), RIDOT also used the opportunity to showcase another tool in the enforcement community’s arsensal: Variable Message Signs (VMS’s).

“With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, we want to make sure revelers aren’t taking the party to the roadways, putting trick-or-treaters and responsible motorists at risk,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Law enforcement officers across the State will be watching for impaired drivers and making sure they are detected and arrested.”

The new VMS’s will be deployed for Halloween night flashing the, “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” message to make the public more aware that drunk driving laws will be strictly enforced. VMS’s are promoted by NHTSA as a way for police to make enforcement more highly visible. Purchase of these 38 signs was funded by RIDOT’s Office on Highway Safety in conjunction with the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association through a grant from NHTSA.

“We are glad to partner with RIDOT in this effort to increase visibility and stop drunk drivers,” said Pawtucket Police Chief George Kelley, who also serves as President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association.

The statewide You Drink & Drive. You Lose. campaign is organized by RIDOT’s Office on Highway Safety and is focused on high-visibility enforcement and heightened public awareness. Drunk driving is a leading cause of fatal crashes in Rhode Island, with 25 lives lost last year alone in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Contact: Heidi Cote (401) 222-1362 x. 4009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

RIDOT Reminds Motorists: Don't Let Halloween Turn into a Nightmare

Halloween is almost here and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is joining the local and State law enforcement community and the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind motorists not to drink and drive.

A press event to reinforce this message is scheduled for Thursday, October 29, 2009. The event will be held at 10:00 a.m. at RIDOT’s Maintenance Headquarters at 360 Lincoln Avenue in Warwick.

The event will also serve as the official debut for the new Variable Message Signs (VMS’s) that were recently purchased by RIDOT and the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association to help aid law enforcement efforts.

In addition to RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis, the agenda will also include: NHTSA Regional Administrator Philip Weiser; and Pawtucket Police Chief George Kelley, who also serves at President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association.

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Directions: Take I-95 South to the Jefferson Boulevard exit. At the end of the exit, take a left at the light. Drive about a mile until you see the Jefferson Diner. Take a hard right at the light onto Lincoln Avenue and RIDOT’s Maintenance Headquarters will be down a few yards on your left.

Contact: Heidi Cote 401-222-1362 x. 4009

Friday, October 23, 2009

RIDOT Travel Advisories

RIDOT Travel Advisories for October 24-30, 2009 are now available. Visit www.tmc.dot.ri.gov and click on Travel Advisories.

RIDOT improving highway access from Federal Hill

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that will be opening a new access to an existing on-ramp from Dean Street to the Route 6/10 Connector Inbound, which affords direct access to I-95 North and South. This work was done as part of a $1.3 million project to upgrade traffic signals at 27 intersections in Providence that are impacted by the Iway project.

After the morning rush hour on Monday, October 26, 2009, RIDOT will allow left turns from Dean Street northbound onto this ramp. Left turns were not permitted before, and motorists had to seek alternate routes to reach I-95. Motorists in the Atwells Avenue area who have been using a temporary ramp to I-95 South that RIDOT built on Blackstone Street, off Allens Avenue, will find this new ramp provides more convenient access to the highway.

The upgraded intersection will help replace access lost to I-95 South when RIDOT closed the Broad Street on-ramp in November 2008. RIDOT will improve access to I-95 North and South in this area next year with the opening of new highway on-ramps at either end of the Point Street Overpass.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Allens Avenue Railroad Crossing Repairs to Start Friday, October 23

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be working with the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company (P&W) to repair the railroad crossing at Allens Avenue (Route 1A) just north of Terminal Road and the Port of Providence. In order for construction to begin, the road must be closed from 9 a.m. Friday, October 23 thru 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 27. A detour will be in place.

The detour will direct motorists to take Ernest Street to Eddy Street to Oxford Street to bypass the area of construction. Crews will be working 12 hour days and all work is weather dependent. Construction will be limited to 20 feet on either side of the rail crossing which is just north of Ernest Street so that local traffic will still be able to access businesses close to the work zone.

“During the five day construction period the Department recommends drivers use alternate routes to avoid possible detour delays,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis.

Construction needs to occur because of the deterioration of the reinforced steel panels and the underlying wooden shims that support the railroad tracks. The deterioration of the tracks also impacts the road surface, especially the middle southbound lane.

Improvements will include a new rubber crossing, continuous welded rails without any joints, updated railroad crossing lights, and new asphalt.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Construction on I-95 North in West Greenwich to impact trucks

Temporary lane closure and truck restriction planned for I-95 North in West Greenwich. Please see: http://www.ri.gov/DOT/press/view.php?id=9969

Monday, October 19, 2009

RIDOT restoring third lane at I-95 South split tonight; removing I-95 North split on Thursday

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will be making changes to split-lane traffic patterns on I-95 North and South in Providence. RIDOT has been splitting traffic on I-95 North and South this fall for continued Iway construction.

The traffic pattern at the first of two splits on I-95 South will change during the overnight hours tonight and be in place for the morning commute tomorrow, Tuesday, October 20, 2009. This change involves the reopening of a third travel lane for I-95 South traffic and a slight shift to the south for the existing split for Exit 20 to I-195 East, near the Broad Street overpass.

The split will now feature three lanes to the left of the split for I-95 South and two lanes to the right for I-195 East. The establishment of the split on October 7 meant a loss of one travel lane while RIDOT worked aggressively, with 24-hour work days, to restore the third lane. This was accomplished one day ahead of schedule.

This split will remain, as will a second split also on I-95 South, until later this year.

RIDOT expects the restoration of the I-95 South travel lane to reduce congestion; however, motorists can still expect slow traffic during commuting hours until the splits are permanently removed. Those seeking to avoid possible backups on I-95 South should consider alternate routes such as I-295 and Route 10.

Later this week on Thursday, October 22, RIDOT will remove the split-lane traffic pattern on I-95 North as part of the operation to open the Iway from I-195 West to I-95 North. The I-95 North split was implemented on September 29, and the work was completed in about three weeks – nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.

Also scheduled for tonight, RIDOT plans to open a new off-ramp (Exit 20) from I-95 North to Point Street in time for tomorrow morning’s commute.

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

Carcieri, RIDOT Celebrate This Week's Opening of Last Major Segment of the Iway

Governor Donald Carcieri and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael P. Lewis were joined this morning by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Victor Mendez and Providence Mayor David Cicilline to celebrate this week’s opening of the last major segment of the Iway: I-195 West to I-95 North.

“This is a monumental achievement for the State of Rhode Island,” said Carcieri. “The primary goal of this project was to improve the safety and operation of this highway. With the pending opening of this last leg of the Iway, Rhode Islanders will soon enjoy the benefits of meeting that goal.”

“We made a promise to the Governor and every Rhode Islander that we would deliver this new highway,” said Lewis. “With this week’s Iway opening, we are keeping that promise.”

Without the continued support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for this project and the State’s transportation program in general, the Iway could not have been built. To further this support, FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez visited Rhode Island for the event.

“The Iway’s congestion relief not only means improved safety and convenience for drivers,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “It also means a better business climate for the city, which is an economic benefit of which we can all be proud.”

Tomorrow morning, RIDOT plans to open the ramp from I-95 North to Point Street. Commuters traveling on this ramp will have direct access to Point Street, the Jewelry District, the Davol Square area, the hospitals complex, and the west side of Providence.

On Thursday, October 22, RIDOT plans to open the fourth and final major segment of the Iway: I-195 West to I-95 North, which includes an off-ramp to Point Street. The contractor has to complete some final striping, minor connective paving and overhead signing and this work cannot be done during rain events. If the weather cooperates, however, RIDOT could open this ramp a day earlier on Wednesday, October 21.

“The opening of the last major segment of the Iway is an important milestone for the capital city,” said Mayor David N. Cicilline. “It’s a giant step towards growing the “knowledge district” as a jobs center and expanding our tax base.”

Additionally, once the I-195 West to I-95 North movement is open, motorists traveling on Gano Street and taking the I-195 West on-ramp will have access to both I-95 North and I-95 South. The Wickenden Street and Dyer Street on-ramps to I-195 West will be closed. Motorists who used to travel this area will need to take alternate routes to access I-95 North and I-95 South. The ramp from I-195 West to South Main Street will remain open.

RIDOT opened the first segment of the Iway, I-95 North to I-195 East, in November 2007. The next segment, I-95 South to I-195 East, opened in December 2008. I-195 West to I-95 South opened in June 2009. Additional on- and off-ramps will continue to open this year and next. RIDOT expects demolition of old I-195 to begin in 2010 with the entire Iway project wrapping up in 2012.

More information and maps on these changes is available at www.dot.ri.gov, by calling 511, or by listening to the Highway Advisory Radio system on 1630 AM. Updates are also available on Facebook, Blogger, MySpace or Twitter. The latter of these features real-time information on highway incidents from RIDOT’s Transportation Management Center. Additionally, motorists can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Department at 401-222-2450 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Heidi Cote at (401) 222-1362 x. 4009

Friday, October 16, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for October 17-23, 2009 is now available. Please visit: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Last Major Segment of Iway to Now Open in Phases

Due to expected heavy rains, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be phasing in next week’s highway openings.

On Monday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m. RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis will join Governor Carcieri, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Victor Mendez, and Providence Mayor David Cicilline for a preview ceremony of the opening of the ramp from I-195 West to I-95 North.

Tuesday morning, October 20, RIDOT will open the ramp from I-95 North to Point Street in time for the morning commute. Commuters traveling on this ramp will have direct access to Point Street, the Jewelry District, the Davol Square area, the hospitals complex, and the west side of Providence.

On Thursday, October 22, RIDOT plans to open the final major segment of the Iway: I-195 West to I-95 North, which includes an off-ramp to Point Street. The contractor has to complete some final striping, minor connective paving and overhead signing and this work cannot be done during rain events. If the weather cooperates, however, RIDOT could open this ramp a day earlier on Wednesday, October 21.

Additionally, once the I-195 West to I-95 North movement is open, motorists traveling on Gano Street and taking the I-195 West on-ramp will have access to both I-95 North and I-95 South. The Wickenden Street and Dyer Street on-ramps to I-195 West will be closed. Motorists who used to travel this area will need to take alternate routes to access I-95 North and I-95 South. The ramp from I-195 West to South Main Street will remain open.

Contact: Heidi Cote at (401) 222-1362 x. 4009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

RIDOT Wins 3 National Public Affairs Awards

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Public Affairs Office won three national transportation public affairs awards, including the top honor, on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Public Affairs.

“Our Public Affairs team does an outstanding job of keeping Rhode Islanders informed about what RIDOT does and these honors truly reinforce that, and having this small office take the highest award in addition to two others is quite an accomplishment,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis.

At the 2009 National Transportation Public Affairs Workshop, RIDOT’s Public Affairs team won the Excel Award for the public information work they did on last winter’s Iway Phase 2 Opening of I-95 South to I-195 East. The slogan “Take the RIGHT way to the Iway” was incorporated into print, web, and radio ads, and call-in hotlines, interviews, and high profile opening ceremonies helped inform the public of the changes happening to this major intersection.

The Excel Award represents AASHTO’s highest award for public relations programs and campaigns. This award recognizes the specific techniques that made a pivotal contribution to the overall success of a broad-based communications campaign.

RIDOT also won first place in the Photo category. The photo had to support a public relations objective and in this case the award winner was taken by RIDOT photographer Chuck Aube. The photo shows a sheering claw and hammer ripping through the remains of the former Friendship Street overpass over I-95 in Providence. It demonstrates the energy and ferociousness of the demolition process, tearing down an old and decrepit bridge.

A Special Recognition Award was given posthumously to Frances Segerson for her years of service to the RIDOT Public Affairs team. The Award was given in recognition of her unique contributions, unprecedented efforts and achievements in advancing the work of public affairs.

In addition RIDOT’s Chief Public Affairs Officer Dana Alexander Nolfe was named the new Vice Chair of AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Public Affairs. This is the highest national non-Director position a state public affairs officer can hold.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Carcieri, RIDOT to Welcome Head of FHWA to Rhode Island for Iway Ceremony

Governor Donald L. Carcieri and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael P. Lewis will welcome Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Victor Mendez to Rhode Island for a ceremony to preview the opening of the last major segment of the Iway: I-195 West to I-95 North. The ceremony will be held on Monday, October 19, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. on the new highway in Providence.

This opening is scheduled in time for the morning commute on Tuesday, October 20. It marks a major milestone in the Iway project as all traffic will then be using the new highway.

“This is an historic moment for Rhode Island and all the men and women who have worked so hard to make the project a reality,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Next week, traffic will be utilizing the new Iway and pretty soon Rhode Islanders will be saying, where I-195 used to be.”

In addition to Carcieri, Lewis and Mendez, the ceremony will feature Providence Mayor David Cicilline, and other local, State and Federal dignitaries.

Directions: Follow I-95 South to Atwells Avenue (Exit 21). Go straight at the end of the ramp onto Service Road #7. Follow this road for five blocks. Turn left onto Point Street and turn right at the traffic signal to use an off ramp leading to the event site as directed by a police officer that will be there to guide you. Parking will be on the highway just past the event location.

Contact: Heidi Cote at 401-222-1362 x. 4009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last Major Segment of Iway to Open Next Week

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that the last major segment of the Iway: I-195 West to I-95 North is scheduled to open in time for the morning commute on Tuesday, October 20. All changes are weather permitting.

“Next week’s opening marks another success for the State and the Iway project,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Once we open this new ramp, all four major movements on the Iway will be completed and all traffic will be utilizing the new highway. The old I-195 will be closed permanently allowing for the demolition next year.”

With next week’s opening of I-195 West to I-95 North, the Department will also open the ramp from I-195 West to Point Street, and the ramp from I-95 North to Point Street. These ramps will carry traffic going to the Jewelry District, the Davol Square area, the hospitals complex, and the west side of Providence.

Additionally, once the I-195 West to I-95 North movement is open, motorists traveling on Gano Street and taking the I-195 West on-ramp will have access to both I-95 North and I-95 South. The Wickenden Street and Dyer Street on-ramps to I-195 West will be closed. Motorists who used to travel this area will need to take alternate routes to access I-95 North and I-95 South.

RIDOT opened the first segment of the Iway, I-95 North to I-195 East, in November 2007. The next segment, I-95 South to I-195 East, opened in December 2008. I-195 West to I-95 South opened in June 2009. Additional on- and off-ramps will continue to open this year and next. RIDOT expects demolition of old I-195 to begin in 2010 with the entire Iway project wrapping up in 2012.

More information on these changes is available at www.dot.ri.gov, by calling 511, or by listening to the Highway Advisory Radio system on 1630 AM. Updates are also available on Facebook, Blogger, MySpace or Twitter. The latter of these features real-time information on highway incidents from RIDOT’s Transportation Management Center. Additionally, motorists can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Department at 401-222-2450 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Heidi Cote at 401-222-1362 x. 4009

Friday, October 9, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for October 10-16, 2009 is now available. Please visit http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RIDOT restriping portion of Route 122


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will be restriping a portion of Mendon Road in Cumberland and Lonsdale Avenue in Lincoln (Route 122) from four lanes to three. The new configuration will feature one travel lane in each direction and a center turning lane from Broad Street in Cumberland to Front Street in Lincoln, a distance of 0.7 miles.

The changes are being made to help lower speeds on this portion of Route 122, as well as make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road. The new configuration will also feature wider shoulders, making it easier to travel along Mendon Road and Lonsdale Avenue on bicycle.

The restriping is planned to be completed by the end of this week. All work is weather-dependent and the schedule is subject to change.

Motorists with any questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Office at 222-2450 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

Increased Congestion Coming to Providence with Traffic Changes & Two Splits on I-95 SB

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that a new traffic pattern with two lane splits will be put into place this week on I-95 Southbound in the City of Providence and with these changes will come added congestion. Effective, Wednesday, October 7, 2009 for the next five to six weeks, motorists will face some major challenges when traveling this stretch of the Interstate. All changes are weather permitting.

“We are anticipating increased congestion on I-95 Southbound in the City of Providence for the next two weeks because we are going to have one less lane of travel on the Interstate through this area,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “It will be similar to conditions during a breakdown or a crash when traffic could be backed up significantly with frustrating delays for drivers. Travel times from the Massachusetts state line to Exit 20 could increase by about 20 minutes during both the morning and evening commuting times.”

To continue building the Iway, RIDOT must move the location of I-95 South’s Exit 20 for I-195. The exit will be moved about a half-mile to the north, meaning that motorists will encounter the exit sooner. Drivers should be in the appropriate lanes as they approach Exit 20. Those heading onto I-95 South from Route 6 or the highway ramp adjacent to Providence Place Mall will have less time to move left to stay on I-95. Exit 20 will move back to its current location in approximately five to six weeks.

“Our message to motorists is simple: if you don’t have to travel through Providence on I-95 Southbound, don’t. Please seek alternate routes,” added Lewis.

At the new exit location, after Exit 21, RIDOT will implement the first of two lane splits. This will cause the temporary loss of one travel lane for approximately two weeks. Construction will be fast-tracked with 24-hour work days in order to restore this lane as quickly as possible.

Motorists wishing to continue on I-95 South will need to stay left of the first split. Motorists wishing to take Exit 20 for I-195 East will need to stay to the right of the split. Traffic bound for the hospitals complex must stay left, as they do today, to continue on I-95 South.

The second split will be located before the Point Street Overpass with one lane to the left of the split and two lanes to the right. All lanes continue on I-95 South, but motorists seeking access to the hospitals complex at Exit 19 (Dudley Street) will need to stay right. This second split should be over before the end of the year.

If you miss your exit, please do not stop on the highway or back up. Drivers who are on I-95 South and want to take the Iway but miss the exit should continue on I-95 to Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) to take local streets to I-95 North to Exit 19 (the Iway).

Drivers on I-95 Southbound that find themselves on the exit ramp to I-195 Eastbound (Exit 20) should get off at Exit 5 (Warren Avenue). Drivers should then turn left to access the on-ramp to I-195 West. Once on I-195, stay left for I-95 South.

Drivers on I-95 South who miss the exit for the hospitals (Exit 19) should take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue), make a right onto Thurbers Avenue and then a right onto Eddy Street. Alternate routes are available on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.

RIDOT opened the first segment of the Iway, I-95 North to I-195 East, in November 2007. The next segment, I-95 South to I-195 East, opened in December 2008. I-195 West to I-95 South opened in June 2009. I-195 West to I-95 North is scheduled to open by the end of this month. Additional on- and off-ramps are scheduled to open this year and next. RIDOT expects demolition of old I-195 to begin in 2010 with the entire Iway project wrapping up in 2012.

Additional information on these changes is also available by calling 511 or listening to the Highway Advisory Radio system on 1630 AM. Updates are available on Facebook, Blogger, MySpace or Twitter. The latter of these features real-time information on highway incidents from RIDOT’s Transportation Management Center. Additionally, motorists can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Department at 401-222-2450 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Heidi Cote 401-222-1362 x4009

Driving Simulator Available for a Media Test Drive

Media are invited to test drive the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and University of Rhode Island Transportation Center (URITC) truck simulator on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The simulator will be set up at the RIDOT Maintenance Facility, 360 Lincoln Avenue, Warwick, Rhode Island.

The simulator allows RIDOT as well as cities and towns to train drivers in infinite scenarios including time of day, weather, and traffic. Vehicles can vary from snowplow to tractor trailer to fire truck and more.

Media interested in taking the simulator for a spin should contact Dana Alexander Nolfe, RIDOT’s Chief Public Affairs Officer, at 401-222-1362 x4450 or dnolfe@dot.ri.gov to set up a time.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

RIDOT to Host Media Availability to Preview Wednesday's Changes to I-95 Southbound

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will hold a media availability on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at the Westminster 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 South effective just in time for the morning commute on Wednesday, October 7, 2009.

To continue building the Iway, RIDOT must move the location of I-95 South’s Exit 20 for I-195 about a half-mile to the north. Drivers should be in the appropriate lanes as they approach Exit 20. Those heading onto I-95 South from Route 6 or the highway ramp adjacent to Providence Place Mall will have less time to move left to stay on I-95. Exit 20 will move back to its current location in approximately five to six weeks.

At the new exit location, after Exit 21, RIDOT will implement the first of two lane splits. Motorists wishing to continue on I-95 South will need to stay left of the first split. Motorists wishing to take Exit 20 for I-195 East will need to stay to the right of the split. Traffic bound for the hospitals complex must stay left, as they do today, to continue on I-95 South.

The second split will be located before the Point Street Overpass with one lane to the left of the split and two lanes to the right. All lanes continue on I-95 South, but motorists seeking access to the hospitals complex at Exit 19 (Dudley Street) will need to stay right. This second split should be removed before the end of the year.

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Directions: Take I-95 South to Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue); go straight through the light; go down three blocks; take a left onto Westminster Street.

Friday, October 2, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Report for October 3-9, 2009 is now available. Please visit: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Traffic Changes & Two Splits on I-95 SB Will Cause Congestion in Providence

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that a new traffic pattern with two lane splits will be put into place next week on I-95 Southbound in the City of Providence and with these changes will come added congestion. Effective, Wednesday, October 7, 2009 for the next five to six weeks, motorists will face some major challenges when traveling this stretch of the Interstate. All changes are weather permitting.

“We are now entering a phase where the I-195/I-95 split will unfortunately change several times as we continue building the Iway,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Southbound I-95 congestion is expected to increase so we recommend that drivers consider alternate routes. Even a small diversion of traffic should significantly reduce delays for those traveling through the construction zone.”

To continue building the Iway, RIDOT must move the location of I-95 South’s Exit 20 for I-195. The exit will be moved about a half-mile to the north, meaning that motorists will encounter the exit sooner. Drivers should be in the appropriate lanes as they approach Exit 20. Those heading onto I-95 South from Route 6 or the highway ramp adjacent to Providence Place Mall will have less time to move left to stay on I-95. Exit 20 will move back to its current location in approximately five to six weeks.

At the new exit location, after Exit 21, RIDOT will implement the first of two lane splits. This will cause the temporary loss of one travel lane for approximately two weeks. Construction will be fast-tracked with 24-hour work days in order to restore this lane as quickly as possible.

Motorists wishing to continue on I-95 South will need to stay left of the first split. Motorists wishing to take Exit 20 for I-195 East will need to stay to the right of the split. Traffic bound for the hospitals complex must stay left, as they do today, to continue on I-95 South.

The second split will be located before the Point Street Overpass with one lane to the left of the split and two lanes to the right. All lanes continue on I-95 South, but motorists seeking access to the hospitals complex at Exit 19 (Dudley Street) will need to stay right. This second split should be over before the end of the year.

If you miss your exit, please do not stop on the highway or back up. Drivers who are on I-95 South and want to take the Iway but miss the exit should continue on I-95 to Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) to take local streets to I-95 North to Exit 19 (the Iway).

Drivers on I-95 Southbound that find themselves on the exit ramp to I-195 Eastbound (Exit 20) should get off at Exit 5 (Warren Avenue). Drivers should then turn left to access the on-ramp to I-195 West. Once on I-195, stay left for I-95 South.

Drivers on I-95 South who miss the exit for the hospitals (Exit 19) should take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue), make a right onto Thurbers Avenue and then a right onto Eddy Street. Alternate routes are available on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.

RIDOT opened the first segment of the Iway, I-95 North to I-195 East, in November 2007. The next segment, I-95 South to I-195 East, opened in December 2008. I-195 West to I-95 South opened in June 2009. I-195 West to I-95 North is scheduled to open by the end of this month. Additional on- and off-ramps are scheduled to open this year and next. RIDOT expects demolition of old I-195 to begin in 2010 with the entire Iway project wrapping up in 2012.

Additional information on these changes is also available by calling 511 or listening to the Highway Advisory Radio system on 1630 AM. Updates are available on Facebook, Blogger, MySpace or Twitter. The latter of these features real-time information on highway incidents from RIDOT’s Transportation Management Center. Additionally, motorists can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service Department at 401-222-2450 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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