Thursday, September 30, 2010

Texting While Driving is Illegal in Rhode Island, Too

With today’s news that texting while driving is now illegal in Massachusetts, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and its Office on Highway Safety are reminding motorists that it is also illegal to text and drive in Rhode Island. A promotional campaign, “Drive Now. Text Later” is currently underway featuring highway billboards, radio and television advertisements. Designed to encourage licensed drivers ages 16-34 to put down their cell phones and stop texting while driving, the campaign follows the national trend to end distracted driving.

“Nationally, this continues to be an important safety issue,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Following the lead of our Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, RIDOT promotes good laws and effective enforcement, in coordination with education, and awareness, through campaigns such as this, to make our highways safer.”

Back in November 2009, Governor Donald Carcieri signed into Rhode Island law the no texting while driving bill. Violators caught and convicted of texting while driving in Rhode Island are fined $85 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $125 for the third offense.

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

Friday, September 24, 2010

The RIDOT Travel Forecast for
September 25 - October 1, 2010
is now available at http://bit.ly/bMWHI8

RIDOT Travel Forecast

The RIDOT Travel Forecast for September 25 - October 1, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHI8

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Travel Advisory Update

Providence: On I-195 WB, the on-ramp from Gano St. and the off-ramp to Exit 2 (South Main St.) will be closed due to resurfacing operations on I-195, Wednesday & Thursday nights from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Use Exit 3 (Gano St.) or Exit 1A (Point St.) to reach the East Side of Providence.

Monday, September 20, 2010

RIDOT performing test to improve congestion, safety at merge of I-95 South and Route 146 South


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will install traffic delineators – flexible, paddle-like markers – at the junction of I-95 South and Route 146 South this week. This is being done on a trial basis to improve safety at the merge and reduce congestion caused by vehicles merging too early.

The delineators will be placed along the solid white lines at the actual merge point and extend approximately 400 feet south on I-95. These markers are scheduled to be installed during the overnight hours on Tuesday, September 21, 2010, and be in place for the morning commute on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.

There is a history of traffic congestion on both highways at this interchange. RIDOT believes that moving the merging area further south will make it easier for motorists to change lanes, whether they wish to continue on I-95 South or take Exit 22 for access to Downtown or Route 6.

The delineators will be in place for two weeks to gauge their effectiveness. RIDOT will then determine if permanent changes should be made to make the highways safer and function more efficiently.

Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.

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

Reminder: Exit 20 overnight closure tonight

Tonight, Monday, September 20, 2010, Exit 20 (I-195 East) from I-95 South will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. as part of an ongoing resurfacing operation on I-95. Expect delays. See original press release at: http://www.ri.gov/DOT/press/view.php?id=12230

Friday, September 17, 2010

RIDOT Travel Advisories update

RIDOT Travel Advisories for September 18-24, 2010 is now available at: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp



http://www.ri.gov/DOT/press/view.php?id=12230

RIDOT's on a Mission for Safety

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is on a mission for safety by co-hosting the Mission: Safety 2010 Conference in Newport with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this coming Monday.

Engineers and behavior modification specialists from as far away as Washington state and as close as Newport will be uniting for a common goal of reducing fatalities and injuries on our highways. The conference, being held at the Newport Marriott at 25 America’s Cup Avenue in Newport, begins on Monday, September 20 and concludes on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.

“Last year we had 83 needless deaths on Rhode Island’s highways. Like many other states across the nation, we recognize that these tragedies can be prevented. By joining together, we hope to develop and implement new strategies that will reduce the number of highway fatalities,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis.

The opening day of the conference will feature a Monday morning keynote address by Senator Jack Reed, who will speak on “Transportation Safety for the 21st Century.” Monday’s lunchtime keynote will be given by Dr. Anthony Kane, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Director of Engineering and Technical Services. Dr. Kane’s address is entitled: “Halving the Number of Fatalities in Two Decades (Moving Towards Zero Deaths).” Other dignitaries anticipated to attend include: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse; Peter Osborn, FHWA Rhode Island Division Administrator; Philip Weiser, NHTSA Regional Administrator; and Colonel Brendan Doherty, Superintendent, Rhode Island State Police.

For a full copy of the agenda, or additional information about the conference, please see: http://www.dot.ri.gov/SAFETY2010/index.asp.

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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

RI:DRIVE Targets Youth Before They Learn to Drive

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is sponsoring a one-day safety initiative - -RI:DRIVE (Rhode Island: Developing Responsible and Indelible Vehicle Education) - - aimed at teaching youth how to become responsible drivers.

Approximately 40 students from Bain Middle School in Cranston and Gaudet Middle School in Middletown will be at the Newport Marriott on Monday, September 20, 2010 to participate in classroom discussions and team building exercises focused on engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services. The event, set to kick off at 9:00 a.m., will also feature a rollover simulator demonstration by the Rhode Island State Police and a mock crash presented by the Newport Police and Fire Departments.

“We want to teach today’s youth about passenger and driver responsibilities before they learn how to drive,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “If we can start them young, the good habits they learn today will help them grow into tomorrow’s safe and mature drivers.”

Topics to be discussed at the one-day event include occupant protection, texting, speeding, pedestrian/bicycle safety, and alcohol and drugs. Staff from the Newport and Cranston Police Departments, the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy and RIDOT’s Office on Highway Safety will be on hand to teach the classes, share their knowledge and offer support.

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RIDOT Travel Advisories update

South Kingstown: Rte. 108 NB & SB, from the Rte. 1 overpass to the Dillon Rotary, the road will be closed for beam setting, Wednesday & Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The following detour routes will be in effect:

  • Rte. 108 NB: Take on-ramp to Rte. 1 NB and use the Wakefield exit. Take immediate left for Rte. 1 SB and use the Narragansett exit to return to Rte. 108.
  • Rte. 108 SB: Take the on-ramp to Rte. 1 SB and take the Point Judith Rd. exit. Turn right on Woodruff Ave. and follow to return to Rte. 108.

Monday, September 13, 2010

RIDOT Travel Advisories update

New to RIDOT Travel Advisories website: Exit 2 (South Main St.) from I-195 WB, and the on-ramp from Gano St. to I-195 WB, will be closed for construction, Monday night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Use Exit 3 (Gano St.) or Exit 1A (Point St.) to reach the East Side of Providence.

Friday, September 10, 2010

RIDOT, police team up to crack down on speeding

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Office of Highway Safety is working with local and State police this weekend to remind motorists that speeding is not only expensive, but potentially fatal. Departments participating in “Obey The Sign Or Pay The Fine” started issuing extra patrols yesterday to enforce speed limits in their respective communities.

“Drivers need to remember that speed limits are posted for their safety,” DOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “Even traveling just 5 miles per hour over the limit can put you at risk on the road.”

Last year there were 83 driving fatalities in Rhode Island, and officials say speed was a factor in a majority of those accidents. This is the third time that the Office of Highway Safety has worked with the local police community to implement a statewide speed-reduction effort.

“We thank our partners in the law enforcement community for joining us in this educational effort,” Lewis said. “We hope the increased enforcement will help motorists focus on how fast they’re traveling, and ultimately slow down.”

Contact: Bryan Lucier 401-222-1362 x4012

Note: If you wish to cover this story this weekend, please contact Janis Loisell at 480-0713.

RIDOT Traffic Forecast for September 11-17 2010 is now available @ http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chestnut Hill Road Bridge in Glocester closing for rehabilitation


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it will be closing the Chestnut Hill Road Bridge in Glocester on Monday, September 13, 2010. The bridge will be closed for approximately one year.

The bridge carries Chestnut Hill Road over the Chepachet River and has a weight limit of 6 tons, which prohibits its use by trucks, emergency response vehicles and school buses. The bridge was built in 1908, last rehabilitated in 1954 and while it is safe for travel it is considered structurally deficient due to deteriorated steel girders.

The $1.2 million rehabilitation project involves a complete replacement of the bridge, construction of a replacement spillway structure adjacent to the bridge and wetland restoration.

“We are working aggressively to address deteriorated bridges across the State,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We apologize for any inconvenience this project may cause, but motorists should know that by closing the bridge completely we will be able to build the new structure as quickly as possible.”

During the closure motorists can use Route 44 (Putnam Pike) and Pine Orchard Road to detour around the closed bridge. A detour map can be found online at: http://www.dot.ri.gov/travelri/detourmaps.asp.

Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.

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

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rte. 146 ramp closure

The ramps to and from Rte. 146 NB and Sherman Ave. will close at 10 pm tonight and remain closed for 2 weeks due to Rte. 146 construction. Use Great Road to detour.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Iway changes in September


Map posted showing upcoming Iway changes in September at: http://bit.ly/cFEbzV

Reminder: Traffic pattern change scheduled for tomorrow near R.I. hospitals complex

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that tomorrow, Wednesday, September 8, 2010, it will change the traffic pattern on Willard Avenue, close to the R.I. hospitals complex in Providence. By the afternoon commute, Willard Avenue from Eddy Street to Plain Street will be converted from a two-way street to a one-way street westbound.

The traffic pattern change is being done as part of the Iway project and comes in advance of the opening of Exit 1B from I-195 West. This ramp will meet Eddy Street at Willard Avenue. Changing Willard Avenue to a one-way traffic pattern heading away from Eddy Street will ease congestion in this area and avoid traffic conflicts with off-ramp traffic. Motorists should note that nearby Borinquen Street is two-way only to Culver Street and does not provide access to Eddy Street.

RIDOT is scheduled to open Exit 1B next week. The current schedule calls for overnight construction to complete the work necessary to open the ramp to traffic for the following morning commute. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

RIDOT is working with Lifespan to inform the hospital community of these changes. Additional signage, including electronic message boards, will be used to notify hospital employees and patients.

Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.

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

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane Earl Phone Numbers for Road Info

Hurricane Earl info: Call 511 for roadway/traffic info or 222-3005 to report flooded, damaged or blocked roads.

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for August 4-10, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

RIDOT preparing for strong winds, rain from Earl

Securing construction sites and reviewing known problem areas have kept the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) busy in the past few days as Hurricane Earl progresses north toward Southern New England.

RIDOT officials have been conferring with other State agencies all week, including the R.I. Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), to prepare for heavy rains and high winds associated with tropical storms or hurricanes. RIDOT has allocated the resources and personnel necessary to address problems associated with this storm and with post-storm clean up.

“Although Rhode Island has not experienced a significant hurricane event in some time, our experience with major snow storms and this spring’s historic flooding have us well prepared for Earl,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We are ready.”

RIDOT has been working with its contractors to secure its construction sites. The Department has identified a number of known drainage “hot spots” from the historic flooding in March and has visited these sites to ensure all storm drains, grates and discharge lines are clear of debris that could exacerbate flooding.

Just as in a winter storm, motorists should conclude travel as conditions worsen. Heavy rains can cause locally flooding and ponding of water on highways. As winds intensify, the likelihood increases for road closures due to debris such as tree limbs. Traffic signals may be out as well due to power outages.

Over this Labor Day holiday weekend, motorists can report blocked roads, flooding or other storm-related problems to RIDOT’s Transportation Management Center at any time at 222-2378. Information may also be posted on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.

RIEMA has extensive information on its website (www.riema.ri.gov) regarding preparation plans and tips for tropical storms.

Contact:

Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x 4450 - Desk 401-265-5197 – Cell

Joint Information Center 401-275-4038 NGRISTAFFPAO@ng.army.mil

Thursday, September 2, 2010

- TRAFFIC ADVISORY -

TRAFFIC PATTERN CHANGE SCHEDULED
NEAR R.I. HOSPITAL AS PART OF THE IWAY PROJECT

Please see: http://bit.ly/8YeFsg

Current Traffic Incidents

    follow me on Twitter