Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Taft Street closing as part of Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will close a section of Taft Street in Pawtucket on Monday, December 6, 2010 as part of the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project. This section of road will remain closed for approximately three years.

Due to the level of construction associated with building the new Pawtucket River Bridge, RIDOT must close Taft Street at the I-95 overpass, located between Division Street and Jenks Way. Signed detours will be established.

This closure is the first of many changes around the Pawtucket River Bridge motorists can expect during the bridge replacement project. RIDOT strongly encourages motorists to become familiar with the detour routes.

“Drivers in Pawtucket can expect a lot of changes in the coming months,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “Much like the Iway project in Providence, the changes will alter routes people have been using for years to get to work or school. It will take time for motorists to get used to them.”

Partly due to the number of one-way streets in the area, the detour routes require several turns to get around closed areas. RIDOT will post turn-by-turn directions and detour maps for each traffic pattern change on its website at www.dot.ri.gov. The detours will not impact existing local detours for truck traffic.

For the Taft Street closure, the follow detour routes will be in effect:

Taft Street Northbound: Turn left on Tower Street and then turn right on Pleasant Street. Turn right onto Jenks Way to return to Taft Street.

Taft Street Southbound: Turn right onto Jenks Way, and then turn left onto Pleasant Street. Follow Pleasant Street under I-95 and turn right onto Grace Street. Take the next left onto George Street and bear left to remain on George Street, which becomes East Avenue. Turn left onto Wilcox Avenue, then turn left again onto Pleasant Street. Take the next right onto Bowles Court and then take the next left to return to Taft Street.

Replacement of the Pawtucket River Bridge is a high priority for the Department. Through an $81 million contract with S&R Corporation/Pihl., Inc. a Joint Venture, RIDOT will replace the Pawtucket River Bridge. The bridge is composed of two structures that carry I-95 over the Seekonk River.

The project is scheduled for completion in Summer 2013. Enough construction should be completed by Spring 2012, however, so the Department can shift traffic to new structures and eliminate the bridge’s 18-ton weight limit. RIDOT has an early incentive clause with its contractor, with a maximum bonus of $4.5 million, that could result in the weight limit being lifted even sooner.

The contract will result in the construction of three new structures, replacing each bridge carrying northbound and southbound on I-95, and building another bridge to help carry highway traffic during phased construction. This third bridge will be permanent, and will carry on- and off-ramps to George and School Streets when the project is finished.

This construction method will allow the Department to replace the Pawtucket River Bridge as quickly as possible with no loss of travel lanes on I-95. The extent of the work, however, will affect travel on city streets in Pawtucket.

In approximately one month, RIDOT plans to close nearby Pleasant Street at the I-95 overpass. A series of road closures are planned next spring as RIDOT rehabilitates other bridges near the highway that are being addressed under this contract.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

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

RIDOT to restripe a portion of Hartford Avenue in Johnston

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will be restriping a short section of Route 6A (Hartford Avenue) in Johnston this week. For .75 miles from the Route 6 interchange to the area of 1300 Hartford Road, close to BJs Wholesale Club, RIDOT will restripe the road to provide one lane of travel in each direction and install a center turning lane. The traffic pattern change is scheduled to go into effect tomorrow, Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

The Department is restriping this section of Hartford Avenue to increase pedestrian safety, particularly in the area of the Tri-Town Community Action Agency, a large social services center on Hartford Avenue. A new crosswalk will be installed at the Tri-Town center, making it safer for patrons to cross Hartford Avenue from the organization’s parking lot across the street.

RIDOT has reviewed traffic counts on Hartford Avenue and concluded that the restriping will not have an adverse impact on traffic. In other areas where a four-lane road has been restriped to three lanes, speeds and crash rates have markedly dropped. Additionally, crossing a road with fewer lanes of traffic is easier and safer for pedestrians.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

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, November 26, 2010

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for November 27 - December 3, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RIDOT announces start of MBTA Commuter Rail Service to Warwick’s T.F. Green Station

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is announcing that Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail service to T.F. Green station in Warwick will begin on Monday, December 6, 2010. Trains will make six stops Monday through Friday on the Providence/Stoughton line.

Trains will depart from T.F. Green, inbound to Providence/South Station, at the following times:

• 6:13 a.m.; 6:52 a.m.; 7:15 a.m. – To Providence and South Station

• 6:27 p.m.; 7:36 p.m.; 7:51 p.m. – To Providence only, change train at 8:12 p.m. to continue to South Station

Trains will arrive at T.F. Green, outbound from Providence/South Station, at the following times:

• 6:01 a.m.; 6:25 a.m. – Arriving from Providence only

• 6:17 p.m.; 6:53 p.m.; 7:26 p.m. – Arriving from South Station and Providence

“Expanded commuter rail in Rhode Island is just two weeks away,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “This service gives enhanced options to get to your office or T.F. Green Airport or wherever your final destination is.”

Ticket fares will vary by distance traveled. Travel between T.F. Green and Providence constitutes travel in two zones and costs $2.25 each way. Travel between T.F. Green and Boston costs $8.25 each way. Seniors and persons with disabilities get 50 percent off. Children age 11 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Monthly passes for unlimited travel between Providence and T.F. Green cost $77. Monthly passes for unlimited travel between T.F. Green and Boston cost $265, which also includes travel on all MBTA buses and subways and the Inner Harbor Ferry.

Schedule information can be found on the MBTA website: at www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/lines/?route=PROVSTOU. Fare information can be found at www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/rail.

“The arrival of commuter rail service is something we have been looking forward to for years. This allows travelers the opportunity for more connectivity between Boston, Providence and T.F. Green Airport,” stated Kevin Dillon, President & CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC). “The benefits to our passengers and ability to attract more air service due to the convenience and ease of access cannot be underscored.”

The T.F. Green Station is part of the $267 million InterLink project for RIDOT and RIAC. The InterLink features a consolidated rental car facility, a bus hub for Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses, and a parking garage with spaces to accommodate 1,800 rental cars and 650 commuter vehicles.

Commuters wishing to park at the InterLink garage will have a daily parking rate of $6.75. A monthly commuter parking rate will be offered at $110 per month. Overnight parking will incur an additional charge of $30 per night. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

“The announcement of the expanded MBTA service marks the completion of the InterLink project, and the commencement of a new era of convenience and efficiency in transportation,” said Governor Carcieri.

RIDOT and MBTA signed an agreement in 1988 called the Pilgrim Partnership, which initiated Providence to Boston commuter rail service with five round trips per day and approximately 200 riders. Today it has 15 round trips per day, as well as weekend service and approximately 2,000 riders per day from Providence.

The partnership has proven beneficial to both agencies. Rhode Island gets access to regional transportation to and from Boston. Massachusetts has gotten much-needed capital improvements, including the Pawtucket layover facility, bi-level coaches and other maintenance upgrades along the Providence/Stoughton line.

Rhode Island signed an operations agreement with the MBTA on September 30, 2010 to create the South County Commuter Rail service, which expands commuter rail service in Rhode Island south of Providence. The InterLink officially opened on October 27, 2010.

A further extension of commuter rail service to Wickford Junction is expected in late 2011. When this station opens, trains will continue down to North Kingstown and are expected to make 10 stops per day.

Expanded commuter rail will provide a convenient rail link between Wickford, Warwick, Providence and the New England region, and serve as an alternative to the automobile for commuters working in Providence and Boston.

Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reminder: Blackstone Street on-ramp to I-95 South is closed


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that this morning it closed a temporary on-ramp from Blackstone Street to I-95 South. The Department built this ramp, off Allens Avenue, to provide additional access to I-95 in 2008 when it closed the Broad Street on-ramp. This ramp was always intended to be temporary.

RIDOT strongly advises motorists who have been using this ramp to consider alternate routes to reach I-95 South. Last week on Thursday, the Department opened a new on-ramp to I-95 South from the area of Point Street and West Franklin Street. This ramp is a short distance south of the former Broad Street on-ramp.

Motorists leaving the city from the Jewelry District, Davol Square, R.I. hospitals area and the West End and Upper South Providence neighborhoods will find the new Point Street ramp the most convenient for them.

Those leaving from the East Side of Providence also can use the Point Street on-ramp or the Gano Street on-ramp to I-195 West to access I-95 South. Areas of Downcity and the Courthouse district can use either the new Point Street ramp or Memorial Boulevard to reach I-95 South.

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, November 19, 2010

RIDOT reopening bridges, restoring traffic pattern on Route 1 in Narragansett

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is planning to reopen two bridges in South County next week that have been closed for a year for reconstruction. Although the project is not scheduled for completion until Spring 2011, the reopening of the bridges will restore traffic patterns on Route 1 on the Narragansett/South Kingstown line.

Motorists will encounter lane closures on Route 1 on Sunday night, November 21, 2010 as RIDOT works to open a new bridge carrying traffic over Route 108 at the Narragansett exit. Since Fall 2009, all Route 1 traffic shared a single bridge during phased demolition and construction of first the northbound bridge, then the southbound bridge. All travel lanes are scheduled to be open early Monday morning.

RIDOT also plans to reopen a bridge carrying traffic to Route 1 North from the corner of Route 108 (Point Judith Road), Woodruff Avenue and South Pier Road. The reopening of this bridge will eliminate a detour that required drivers to use another on-ramp at the nearby Dillon Rotary.

Motorists can expect periodic lane closures as this phase of the project wraps up, including overnight paving of Route 108 at the Route 1 overpass scheduled for Monday and Tuesday nights. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

The $6.6 million project was funded entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In total, RIDOT rehabilitated three structurally deficient bridges, each more than 45 years old, and made numerous improvements to the Dillon Rotary and Route 108.

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

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for November 20-26, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

RIDOT to open new road as part of the Iway project


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will open a new section of East Franklin Street, adjacent to the I-95 corridor in Providence on Monday, November 22, 2010. This one-way northbound street was built as part of the Iway project, and serves as part of a service road system in the area of Point Street that will improve access to and from I-95 and many areas of Providence.

The new road connects Clifford Street to Broad Street. This connection allows motorists entering the city using I-95 North to Exit 20 (Point Street) access not only to Broad Street, but to the existing northbound service road which connects with Westminster Street, Washington Street and Broadway before ending at Atwells Avenue.

Following demolition of the old I-195 highway, RIDOT will construct additional city streets east of I-95 that will connect to East Franklin Street. Together these new roads will greatly increase accessibility to areas of the city such as the Jewelry District, Downcity, West End and Upper South Providence.

Also taking place on Monday, RIDOT will be closing the temporary on-ramp from Blackstone Street, located off of Allens Avenue, to I-95 South. The Department built this ramp to provide additional access to I-95 back in 2008 when it closed the Broad Street ramp for Iway construction. Yesterday, RIDOT replaced this highway access with the opening of a new on-ramp to I-95 South from Point Street.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

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, November 17, 2010

Reminder: RIDOT to open new on-ramp from Point Street to I-95 South tomorrow

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that it plans to open a new on-ramp to I-95 South from the area of Point Street and West Franklin Road tomorrow, Thursday, November 18, 2010.

This exit will serve to replace access to I-95 South that once was served by an on-ramp from Broad Street. The former Broad Street on-ramp was closed in November 2008 so RIDOT could build one of the key pieces of the Iway project, I-95 South to I-195 East.

The ramp is another step in a series of road, on- and off-ramp openings in the Point Street area this fall. In October, RIDOT opened a new on-ramp from I-95 North from Point Street and made numerous changes to city streets to establish a one-way traffic circulator along the I-95 corridor. Last year, the Department opened exits from I-95 North to Point Street and I-195 West to Point Street.

Next week, on Monday, November 22, RIDOT will close the temporary on-ramp to I-95 South from Blackstone Street, located off Allens Avenue. The Department built this ramp to provide additional access to I-95 back in 2008 when it closed the Broad Street ramp. This ramp was always intended to be temporary.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Governor & RIDOT Swing Gold Wrecking Ball to Start Major Demolition of Old I-195

Governor & RIDOT Swing Gold Wrecking Ball to Start Major Demolition of Old I-195: http://bit.ly/c5lX1u

Friday, November 12, 2010

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for November 13-19, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

RIDOT to open new on-ramp from Point Street to I-95 South


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it plans to open a new on-ramp to I-95 South from the area of Point Street and West Franklin Road next week on Thursday, November 18, 2010.

This exit will serve to replace access to I-95 South that once was served by an on-ramp from Broad Street. The former Broad Street on-ramp was closed in November 2008 so RIDOT could build one of the key pieces of the Iway project, I-95 South to I-195 East.

The ramp is another step in a series of road, on- and off-ramp openings in the Point Street area this fall. In October, RIDOT opened a new on-ramp from I-95 North from Point Street and made numerous changes to city streets to establish a one-way traffic circulator along the I-95 corridor. Last year, the Department opened exits from I-95 North to Point Street and I-195 West to Point Street.

“The Department has introduced a number of changes in the past year,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We urge motorists to carefully review information in the media and on our website about these changes and plan a little extra time in their commutes as they become accustomed to the new exits and traffic patterns.”

All these changes in the Point Street area will work together to improve highway access to and from The Jewelry District, Downcity, the West End and South Providence areas. The highway on and off-ramps also help replace highway access to parts of the city that had direct highway access to the old I-195.

On November 22, four days after opening this new ramp to I-95 South, RIDOT will close the temporary on-ramp from Blackstone Street, off Allens Avenue, to I-95 South. The Department built this ramp to provide additional access to I-95 back in 2008 when it closed the Broad Street ramp. This ramp was always intended to be temporary.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Repaving of Route 91 to cause extensive backups

A project to resurface 3.8 miles of Route 91 in Westerly is nearing completion and final paving is planned to take place on Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13, 2010. This is expected to be one of the most challenging operations associated with this contract in terms of traffic impact.

Given the narrow width of the road, the length of paving to be completed and the use of a more durable asphalt mix with longer curing times, RIDOT expects delays to be lengthy and advises motorists to consider alternate routes.

The $2.3 million project extends from the RIDOT Westerly Maintenance Facility on Westerly-Bradford Road to the area of Church Street on Bradford Road. RIDOT has replaced sidewalks, curbing, guardrail and performed minor drainage improvements along this road. The project is scheduled for completion in late November and paving this week is one of the last phases of the project.

RIDOT is scheduled to pave Route 91 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, with paving scheduled from the Maintenance Facility to Dunn’s Corner Road on Friday and from Dunn’s Corner Road to Church Street on Saturday. There will be a single-lane alternating traffic pattern during this operation, and RIDOT expects that motorists traveling in either direction on Route 91 will have to wait several minutes for oncoming traffic to clear.

The Department encourages motorists to avoid travel on this section of Route 91 during the paving operation, and consider using Route 1, Route 3 or Route 216 to detour around the area.

The project is funded entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

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

Local Television Reporter Honored for Being "Saved by the Belt"

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Office on Highway Safety and the North Providence Police Department today honored NBC 10 reporter Barbara Morse Silva for being “Saved by the Belt.”

“We’re here today to honor Barbara for making the choice to wear her seat belt,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Thanks to her decision, she sustained less serious injuries during her car crash and showed just how seat belts save lives.”

Silva was wearing a seat belt when she was rear ended at a red light on Saturday, October 9, 2010. Although she sustained neck injuries, without a seat belt, she could have faced more devastating trauma.

Today’s presentation marks the fourth time the Department has awarded “Saved by the Belt” certificates since the program began in 2006. “Saved by the Belt” honors belted drivers who have survived serious injuries when involved in automobile crashes that were no fault of their own.

“We are pleased that Barbara Morse Silva is here with us today because she took three seconds to buckle up,” said Colonel John J. Whiting, North Providence Chief of Police. “That’s a message that everyone should take to heart.”

According to the latest statistics, Rhode Island’s observed seat belt use rate stands at 78 percent. In 2009, restraints were not used by more than 3 out 4 passenger vehicle occupants (77% or 30 out of 39) who were killed, and for which restraint use was known. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 50 percent of those persons would be alive today if they had just buckled up.

Presently, Rhode Island has a secondary seat belt law, meaning that a motorist may be cited by law enforcement for not wearing their seat belt only if they are stopped for another offense.

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

Gov & RIDOT to Begin Major Demolition of Old I-195

Gov & RIDOT schedule Gold Wrecking Ball Press Event for Demolition of Old I-195. Please see: http://bit.ly/92g5X4

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RIDOT to Honor Local Television Reporter who was "Saved by the Belt"

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Office on Highway Safety will be joining the North Providence Police Department in honoring NBC 10 reporter Barbara Morse Silva for being “Saved by the Belt.” The event that will serve to remind others about the importance of buckling up will be held on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 10 a.m. at the North Providence Police Department at 1967 Mineral Spring Avenue.

Silva, who was wearing a seat belt when she was rear ended on Saturday, October 9, sustained neck injuries but was saved from more devastating trauma by wearing her seat belt.

In addition to RIDOT Director Michael Lewis, others in attendance will include: Rick Sullivan, Law Enforcement Highway Safety Training Coordinator, and Colonel John J. Whiting, Chief of Police, Town of North Providence.

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

RIDOT celebrates reopening of Round Top Bridge in Burrillville


Building bridges and repairing roads with as little interruption possible for motorists is one of Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) chief goals. To that end, the Department is constantly reviewing its construction methods. The adoption of accelerated bridge construction has paid big dividends for a recent bridge project in Burrillville.

RIDOT today celebrated the rapid construction of the Round Top Bridge in the village of Harrisville in Burrillville. The bridge, which carries Callahan School Street (Route 96) over the Clear River, was built in just 41 days. It was constructed entirely with pre-cast concrete components – the first time RIDOT has built a bridge this way. With conventional cast-in-place construction, the bridge likely would have been out of service for up to two years.

“RIDOT knows that bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects can be very disruptive to communities,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We are very excited about accelerated bridge construction and intend make greater use of it in the future.”

In addition to using pre-cast concrete components, RIDOT placed a $3,000 per day incentive clause in its contract with Cardi Corporation, which helped further reduce the closure from an estimated 70 days to just 41 days. The original cost of the bridge was $1.2 million and Cardi earned an incentive of $87,000 for getting the structure open about one month earlier.

“Innovation is critical at this time of enormous resource constraints, increasing demand for services, aging infrastructure, and increasing maintenance costs,” noted FHWA Rhode Island Administrator Peter W. Osborn “The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is commended for their proactive approach to implementing innovations, such as accelerated bridge construction technologies, through the use of pre-cast bridge elements and innovative contracting approaches. The Round Top Bridge will serve as an example for future bridge projects in Rhode Island.”

The Round Top Bridge was built in 1938 and had deterioration of concrete and reinforcing steel. Due to its structurally deficiency, the bridge carried a 5-ton weight limit. This caused lengthy detours for trucks in the area and increased truck traffic on roads that normally do not carry much heavy traffic.

“We appreciate the quick manner in which RIDOT built this bridge,” Burrillville Town Council President Nancy F. Binns said. “In a rural town like ours, closing a bridge for a long time really affects business and residents.”

This is accelerated construction method cannot be used in all instances, either due to the design or size of the bridge or whether it can be closed entirely to traffic or must remain partially open to traffic. RIDOT will be reviewing all its bridge projects to determine which ones may be appropriate for accelerated construction.

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

Friday, November 5, 2010

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

>The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for November 6-12, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Pawtucket River Bridge on I-95 to Revitalize Gateway to Pawtucket

This afternoon, RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis and Governor Donald Carcieri joined with Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin and Pawtucket Mayor James Doyle to break ground on a new bridge on I-95 designed to revitalize the gateway to the City of Pawtucket. A ceremony, held at the closed on-ramp from George Street to I-95, served to officially kick off the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project.

“For Rhode Island to compete in the 21st century economy, we need a 21st century infrastructure system. Over the past eight years, we have aggressively addressed the need to replace and repair our roads and bridges along key transportation routes, from the completion of Route 403 and the Iway to the construction of the Sakonnet River Bridge and today’s groundbreaking,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “We have made great improvements to the state’s infrastructure and enhanced the ease of moving goods and services to and from Rhode Island.”

Through this project, RIDOT plans to replace the aging Pawtucket River Bridge that dates back to 1958 and carries I-95 over Taft Street and the Pawtucket River. Three separate structures will be built: a bridge to carry I-95 Northbound; a bridge to carry I-95 Southbound; and a bridge on which the on and off ramps to George and School Streets will be located.

“Innovative construction staging will allow us to maintain all travel lanes throughout construction posing a minimal impact to the motoring public,” said Lewis. “Our innovative bidding process will also provide us with the shortest possible construction period at the best price.”

In addition, RIDOT will make some intersection improvements along George Street and Marrin Street, and the Department will also rehabilitate three additional bridges: the Garden Street Bridge, the Pine Street Bridge and the George Street Bridge.

Recognizing the significance of this project, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin secured additional funding to advance it. Through both Senate and House bills, the delegation secured a $2.26 million federal appropriation to help repair the bridge. They had also secured $1.9 million for the bridge in 2009.

“The Pawtucket River Bridge is a critical link for Rhode Islanders and our nation’s interstate highway system. I am pleased to have secured federal funding to help replace this bridge so it can be opened to all traffic. This is a smart investment that will improve safety, ease traffic congestion, create jobs, and get our economy moving again,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“This project to restore the Pawtucket River Bridge will help ease the strain on Rhode Islanders’ daily commute, generate local construction jobs, and keep this important artery safe and strong for years to come,” said Whitehouse. “I was proud to work with our delegation to obtain federal funding for the project and I will continue working to support improvements in our state’s transportation infrastructure.”

“Many drivers are reminded daily of the urgent need for a new bridge,” said Langevin. “I am so pleased to have worked in Washington with my colleagues to secure this funding so construction may begin, making one of our state’s major thoroughfares safe for all vehicles.”

Pawtucket Mayor Doyle and his design committee, created decorative pylons in an Art Deco style to replicate design elements at Pawtucket City Hall. The bridge will also include some decorative LED accent lighting.

“I am very pleased with the cooperation between the city’s Bridge Design Committee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Furthermore, I am relieved that the new design will eliminate the long existing problem created by the short distance between the George Street on ramp and the School Street off ramp,” said Mayor Doyle.

The current 18-ton posting is expected to be removed by Spring 2012. A $106 million contract with S&R/Pihl, Inc., a Joint Venture, sets the project completion date at Summer 2013.

Heidi Gudmundson (401) 222-1362 x. 4009

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