Friday, November 27, 2009

RIDOt Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for November 28 - December 4, 2009 is now available. Please visit: www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

RIDOT completes traffic pattern change for Route 1 in Narragansett


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has completed a traffic pattern change for Route 1 on the Narragansett/South Kingstown line in conjunction with a bridge rehabilitation project. The pattern will be in effect for approximately one year.

Earlier this month, RIDOT closed one of two northbound lanes in preparation for moving all travel lanes to the bridge carrying Route 1 southbound traffic. Motorists on Route 1 will find shifted lanes with two travel lanes southbound and one northbound.

This change is necessary to allow for demolition of the northbound bridge. The current construction schedule involves opening a new northbound bridge by early Summer 2010, at which time the southbound bridge will be closed and the all traffic moved to the new bridge with the same pattern – two lanes southbound and one lane northbound.

By Fall 2010, the new southbound bridge is scheduled to be finished and the original traffic pattern will be restored. In conjunction with this project, RIDOT has closed the on-ramp to Route 1 North from the corner of Route 108 (Point Judith Road), Woodruff Avenue and South Pier Road to rehabilitate another bridge. It is scheduled to re-open until Fall 2010 as well. In the interim, traffic will be detoured a short distance north to another on-ramp to Route 1 North, at the Dillon’s Corner Rotary.

Related to this work, RIDOT made numerous improvements to the Rotary and Route 108 to help move traffic through the area safely. One of these changes involves the loss of one lane on Route 108 South.

The closures are necessary as part of a $6.6 million project to rehabilitate three bridges in the area – two that carry Route 1 over Route 108 and the bridge carrying the ramp to Route 1 North. The project is being funded entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All three bridges are more than 45 years old.

RIDOT will closely monitor traffic on Route 1 for congestion issues, particularly during the busy summer beach season. Traffic volumes are heavier for southbound traffic than they are for northbound traffic. By completely closing one bridge at a time, RIDOT can finish the project in the shortest timeframe possible.

Motorists who have questions about this project are urged to contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 222-2450.

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

RIDOT Travel Advisories

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for November 21-27, 2009 is now available at: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

RIDOT removing split-lane traffic pattern on I-95 in West Greenwich

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be removing the split-lane traffic pattern this weekend on I-95 South, shortly after Exit 6 (Route 3), in West Greenwich. One lane of travel will be closed overnight tonight on I-95 South and reopen by 6 a.m. Saturday to make this change.

RIDOT is conducting this work on a weekend to achieve the goal of removing the split-lane traffic pattern prior to the holiday season. The project is presently several months ahead of schedule.

Motorists will still find lanes shifted to the left on both I-95 North and South at the project for the next several months. RIDOT has been shifting and splitting travel lanes on this part of I-95 to allow for the reconstruction of the Weaver Hill Road Bridge.

As part of the work, RIDOT will close the right lane on I-95 South and Weaver Hill Road completely to local traffic at 9 p.m. Sunday in order to safely demolish a portion of the old bridge. All lanes will be restored by 5:30 a.m. Monday.

The removal of the split-lane traffic pattern will eliminate the need for an oversize truck detour route along Route 3.

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 more than 40 years old.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RIDOT & New England Transportation Leaders Work Towards Regional Cooperation

Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael P. Lewis and transportation leaders of the other five New England states gathered Thursday, November 12, 2009 in Newington, Connecticut to advance the goal of regional transportation. Coordination by this group would achieve the mutual goal of enhancing northeast regional transit and other transportation opportunities.

The day-long meeting focused on rail and other policy issues and initiatives. The session was a follow-up to an August meeting of the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO). At that meeting, a plan for the region covering high-speed commuter rail and freight was developed.

“Our transportation challenges and opportunities are becoming increasingly regional,” said Lewis. “By committing to a partner with the other New England states we have a greater opportunity to advance the transportation objectives of the region as well as each individual state.”

All six New England states have submitted grant applications under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for high-speed commuter rail funding for the region. Those in attendance at last week’s meeting expressed cautious optimism about the chances of success with these applications considering the competitive nature of the program. Grant applicants should learn their status in early 2010.

The group also pledged to continue their discussion and work with all members of the New England congressional delegations to secure passage of a federal transportation funding bill.

Maine will host the next meeting in February 2010 in Portland.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

CHANGE: Overnight Closures of I-95 for Iway Construction to Begin Thursday Night

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that it will close I-95 North and South in Providence on various nights over the next two weeks for Iway-related construction. The closures will also affect traffic on I-195 West to I-95 North. Motorists are strongly urged to seek alternate routes during the closure period. The work is being done during overnight hours, when traffic volumes are the lowest, to minimize impacts to motorists.

The full highway closures are scheduled to begin on Thursday, November 19, 2009 and conclude on Tuesday, November 24, 2009. The closure schedule is as follows:

First week:

Thursday, November 19: I-95 North & South closed I-195 West to I-95 North closed

Second week:

Sunday-Tuesday, November 22-24: I-95 North & South closed I-195 West to I-95 North closed

RIDOT will close at least one lane in each direction on I-95 after 8 p.m. each night of a scheduled closure, with the full closures taking place after 11 p.m. All lanes will be restored by 5 a.m. the next day, prior to the morning commute. All work and schedules are weather dependent.

The work zone will be between Exit 19 (I-195 northbound; Eddy Street southbound) and Exit 21 (Broadway northbound; Atwells Avenue southbound). Additionally, I-195 West after Exit 2 (South Main Street) will only be open to traffic heading to I-95 South.

RIDOT must close the highway to allow for the installation of steel beams for the new Clifford Street Bridge, which is being built as part of the Iway project. The bridge will span I-95 in roughly the same footprint as the former Friendship Street on-ramp to old I-195 East. The frequent relocations of Exit 20 (from I-95 South to I-195 East) this fall were required before this next step in the process of building the new bridge.

The Department plans to open the Clifford Street Bridge to traffic in late 2010, along with additional highway on-ramps and service roads that will improve travel to and from the Jewelry District, Downcity and the West Side of Providence.

Through traffic on I-95 North or South should use Route 10 as a detour. Local traffic on I-95 and on I-195 West to I-95 North should follow detours using city streets. RIDOT will install trail blazing signage along the detour routes to guide motorists.

The detour routes are as follows:

I-95 North Take Exit 16 and follow Route 10 North to return to I-95 North after the work zone. Or, detour using Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) 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. Motorists will be able to access Exit 19 for I-195 East.

I-95 South Motorists should use Exit 22B and follow Route 10 South to return to I-95 South in Cranston. Or, detour using Exit 22A (Downtown) and follow a city detour using Memorial Boulevard, Dyer Street, Eddy Street, Allens Avenue and Blackstone Street to return to I-95 South.

I-95 South to I-195 East Use Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue) and follow Service Road No. 7 to Plain Street on-ramp to I-195 East.

I-95 South to Hospitals Complex Use Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue) and follow detour using Service Road No. 7, Plain Street, Borden Street, and Crary Street to reach Eddy Street and the hospitals complex.

I-195 West to I-95 North Take Exit 2 (South Main Street), turn left onto Steeple Street, and then follow Memorial Boulevard to on-ramp to I-95 North adjacent to Providence Place Mall. Alternately, follow South Main Street to North Main Street to Charles Street to on-ramp to I-95 North.

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, www.dot.ri.gov. 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 Heidi Cote at 222-1362 x. 4009

Friday, November 13, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Travel Forecast

RIDOT's Travel Forecast for November 14-20, 2009 is now available at:
http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp

Overnight lane closures beginning Sunday on I-95 in Pawtucket

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will be closing lanes on I-95 North and South in Pawtucket during overnight hours on a regular basis beginning Sunday night, November 15, 2009. The closures are needed for work on an interim bridge repair project for the Pawtucket River Bridge, between Exit 26 (Lonsdale Avenue) and Exit 29 (Broadway) in Pawtucket.

The $2 million project will focus on steel repairs and other work needed to keep the bridge serviceable until it can be replaced.

RIDOT is planning to seek bids this winter for a replacement of the structure and begin work in mid 2010. Once construction begins, motorists can expect to see the traffic shifted to the new bridge in phases over a three-year period of time.

RIDOT expects to close one lane of I-95 at 9 p.m. and up to two lanes after 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights. Specific closure information will be announced each Friday afternoon and posted on RIDOT’s Travel Advisories web page at www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

This work will not change the 18-ton weight limit RIDOT set in May 2008. Trucks weighing more than 18 tons with more than two axles will need to continue to use alternate routes to bypass this section of I-95 using I-295, Route 146 or marked detour routes through Pawtucket.

The interim repair project is scheduled to be completed in late winter 2010.

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

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

RIDOT announces overnight closures of I-95 for Iway construction

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will close I-95 North and South in Providence on various nights over the next two weeks for Iway-related construction. The closures will also affect traffic on I-195 West to I-95 North. Motorists are strongly urged to seek alternate routes during the closure period. The work is being done during overnight hours, when traffic volumes are the lowest, to minimize impacts to motorists.

The full highway closures are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 and conclude on Tuesday, November 24, 2009. The closure schedule is as follows:

First week:

Wednesday & Thursday, November 18-19:

I-95 North & South closed; I-195 West to I-95 North closed

Second week:

Sunday-Tuesday, November 22-24:

I-95 North & South closed; I-195 West to I-95 North closed

RIDOT will close at least one lane in each direction on I-95 after 8 p.m. each night of a scheduled closure, with the full closures taking place after 11 p.m. All lanes will be restored by 5 a.m. the next day, prior to the morning commute. All work and schedules are weather dependent.

The work zone will be between Exit 19 (I-195 northbound; Eddy Street southbound) and Exit 21 (Broadway northbound; Atwells Avenue southbound). Additionally, I-195 West after Exit 2 (South Main Street) will only be open to traffic heading to I-95 South.

RIDOT must close the highway to allow for the installation of steel beams for the new Clifford Street Bridge, which is being built as part of the Iway project. The bridge will span I-95 in roughly the same footprint as the former Friendship Street on-ramp to old I-195 East. The frequent relocations of Exit 20 (from I-95 South to I-195 East) this fall were required before this next step in the process of building the new bridge.

The Department plans to open the Clifford Street Bridge to traffic in late 2010, along with additional highway on-ramps and service roads that will improve travel to and from the Jewelry District, Downcity and the West Side of Providence.

Through traffic on I-95 North or South should use Route 10 as a detour. Local traffic on I-95 and on I-195 West to I-95 North should follow detours using city streets. RIDOT will install trail blazing signage along the detour routes to guide motorists.

The detour routes are as follows:

I-95 North Take Exit 16 and follow Route 10 North to return to I-95 North after the work zone. Or, detour using Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) 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. Motorists will be able to access Exit 19 for I-195 East.

I-95 South Motorists should use Exit 22B and follow Route 10 South to return to I-95 South in Cranston. Or, detour using Exit 22A (Downtown) and follow a city detour using Memorial Boulevard, Dyer Street, Eddy Street, Allens Avenue and Blackstone Street to return to I-95 South.

I-95 South to I-195 East Use Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue) and follow Service Road No. 7 to Plain Street on-ramp to I-195 East.

I-95 South to Hospitals Complex Use Exit 21 (Atwells Avenue) and follow detour using Service Road No. 7, Plain Street, Borden Street, and Crary Street to reach Eddy Street and the hospitals complex.

I-195 West to I-95 North Take Exit 2 (South Main Street), turn left onto Steeple Street, and then follow Memorial Boulevard to on-ramp to I-95 North adjacent to Providence Place Mall. Alternately, follow South Main Street to North Main Street to Charles Street to on-ramp to I-95 North.

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, www.dot.ri.gov. 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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RIDOT Sends Message to Drivers: Texting While Driving is Now Illegal

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and its Office on Highway Safety are sending a message to drivers that it is now illegal to text while driving. Rhode Island is the 19th state, along with the District of Columbia, to pass such a law. Governor Donald L. Carcieri signed this bill into law last night.

Violators caught and convicted of texting while driving will get an $85 fine for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second offense, and a $125 fine for the third offense. This new law took effect immediately upon its passage.

“Driver inattention is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes and texting has been one of the most egregious forms of it,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “This law will help put a driver’s eyes back on the road where they should be.”

RIDOT has plans to alert drivers of this law by running ads, using RIDOT’s highway variable message signs, putting information on social media sites, and reaching out to universities to let students know about the change.

“While this law helps us save lives, RIDOT is continuing to work towards a primary seat belt law. Doing so would prevent serious injuries and save even more lives while providing Rhode Island an additional $3.7 million in transportation infrastructure and highway safety funds,” said Lewis.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Friday, November 6, 2009

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for November 7-13, 2009 is now available. Please visit http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

RIDOT relocating Exit 20 on I-95 South tonight


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) wants to remind motorists that it will be making changes this weekend to traffic patterns on I-95 South in Providence with the relocation of Exit 20 for I-195 East.

Beginning at 11 p.m. tonight, Friday, November 6, 2009, RIDOT will close the existing two-lane ramp for Exit 20 and begin a phased operation of opening a temporary ramp to Exit 20 at the Point Street Overpass, about 1,000 feet south of its current location. During this time, motorists will have only one lane of travel to access I-195 and at least one lane will be closed on I-95 South as well. All work is scheduled to be completed by late morning tomorrow, Saturday, November 7. Motorists should seek alternate routes during this transition period.

The temporary ramp will be in roughly the same location as it was when Exit 20 opened to the Iway in December 2008. Ongoing Iway construction, however, has shifted I-95 South to the left of its original alignment. The new ramp will have a slight incline, and as such, motorists should reduce speed and exercise caution when using it.

The temporary ramp to Exit 20 will be in place through Fall 2010. RIDOT will then relocate Exit 20 to its permanent location, which will be after the Broad Street Overpass.

RIDOT must relocate the access to Exit 20 in order to allow Iway construction to continue. Work scheduled includes construction of a new on-ramp from Point Street to I-95 South, construction of the permanent ramp for Exit 20, and a new Exit 19 from I-95 South to the hospitals area and Eddy Street. The Department anticipates the Point Street and new Eddy Street ramps to open in late 2010.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. Motorists can expect additional congestion on I-95 South during the first few days as drivers become accustomed to all of these changes. Those seeking additional information can visit the Department’s website, www.dot.ri.gov, or contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Traffic pattern changes begin tonight for Route 1 in Narragansett

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will be closing one of two northbound lanes on Route 1 on the Narragansett/South Kingstown line in conjunction with a bridge rehabilitation project. The closure will take place tonight, November 3, 2009 after 8 p.m. and be in effect for approximately one year, until Fall 2010.

Also scheduled for tonight, RIDOT will close the on-ramp to Route 1 North from the corner of Route 108 (Point Judith Road), Woodruff Avenue and South Pier Road. This ramp will be closed until Fall 2010 while the bridge that carries the ramp over Route 108 is rehabilitated. Traffic will be detoured a short distance north to another on-ramp to Route 1 North, at the Dillon’s Corner Rotary.

Related to this work, RIDOT made numerous improvements to the Rotary and Route 108 to help move traffic through the area safely. One of these changes involves the loss of one lane on Route 108 South.

The closures are necessary as part of a $6.6 million project to rehabilitate three bridges in the area – two that carry Route 1 over Route 108 and the bridge carrying the ramp to Route 1 North. The project is being funded entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All three bridges are more than 45 years old and are considered structurally deficient.

Later this month, RIDOT will entirely close the bridge carrying northbound traffic on Route 1 and shift traffic onto the bridge carrying southbound traffic. This pattern with two lanes southbound and one lane northbound on the same bridge will remain in effect for the duration of the project. The current construction schedule involves opening a new northbound bridge by early summer 2010, at which time the southbound bridge will be closed and all traffic moved to the new bridge. By Fall 2010, the new southbound bridge is scheduled to be finished and the original traffic pattern will be restored.

RIDOT will closely monitor traffic on Route 1 for congestion issues, particularly during the busy summer beach season. Traffic volumes are heavier for southbound traffic than they are for northbound traffic. By completely closing one bridge at a time, RIDOT can finish the project in the shortest timeframe possible.

Motorists who have questions about this project are urged to contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 222-2450.

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

RIDOT relocating Exit 20 on I-95 South; second split to be removed

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will be making changes to split-lane traffic patterns on I-95 South in Providence this week. The most significant of these will involve the relocation of Exit 20 for I-195 East over the coming weekend.

Beginning at 11 p.m. on Friday, November 6, 2009, RIDOT will close the existing two-lane ramp for Exit 20 and begin a phased operation of opening a temporary ramp at the Point Street Overpass, about 1,000 feet south of its current location. During this time, motorists will have only one lane of travel to access I-195 and at least one lane will be closed on I-95 South as well. All work is scheduled to be complete by late morning on Saturday, November 7. Motorists should seek alternate routes during this transition period.

The temporary ramp will be in roughly the same location as it was when Exit 20 opened to the Iway in December 2008. Ongoing Iway construction, however, has shifted I-95 South to the left of its original alignment. The new ramp will have a slight incline, and as such, motorists should reduce speed and exercise caution when using it.

The temporary ramp to Exit 20 will be in place through Fall 2010. RIDOT will then relocate Exit 20 to its permanent location, which will be after the Broad Street Overpass.

RIDOT must relocate the access to Exit 20 in order to allow Iway construction to continue. Work scheduled includes construction of a new on-ramp from Point Street to I-95 South, construction of the permanent ramp for Exit 20, and a new Exit 19 from I-95 South to the hospitals area and Eddy Street. The Department anticipates the Point Street and new Eddy Street ramps to open in late 2010.

Also this week, RIDOT plans to remove a split-lane traffic pattern immediately after this area on I-95 South, near Exit 19 (Eddy Street). Motorists can expect lane restrictions beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4 beginning at 8 p.m. The work is scheduled to be completed prior to the morning commute on Thursday, November 5.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. Motorists can expect additional congestion on I-95 South during the first few days as drivers become accustomed to all of these changes. Those seeking additional information can visit the Department’s website, www.dot.ri.gov, or contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Temporary lane closure and truck restriction planned for I-95 South

Temporary lane closure and truck restriction planned for I-95 South in West Greenwich. Please see: http://www.ri.gov/DOT/press/view.php?id=10073

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