Friday, December 31, 2010

RIDOT Traffic Forecast for January 1-7, 2011. Please see: http://bit.ly/dVjK9z

Friday, December 24, 2010

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for December 25-31, 2010, is now available at http://bit.ly/bMWHHW.

Friday, December 17, 2010

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for December 18-24, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHI8

RIDOT reopening on-ramp to Route 24 North in Portsmouth

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to reopen the on-ramp from Hummocks Avenue in Portsmouth to Route 24 North on Monday, December 20, 2010. The ramp has been closed for approximately 10 months for construction related to the new Sakonnet River Bridge.

During the closure, RIDOT rehabilitated the Hummocks Avenue Bridge and started building the western approach to the new Sakonnet River Bridge.

The new Sakonnet River Bridge is expected to open to traffic by May 2012. The $163.7 million contract with Cardi Corporation includes an early incentive clause which could result in the bridge opening sooner.

All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. Depending on the track of a coastal winter storm forecast for Sunday night into Monday, the opening may be postponed until Monday afternoon or Tuesday.

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

RIDOT temporarily closing a portion of Grace Street in Pawtucket

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is planning to close a section of Grace Street in Pawtucket for approximately two weeks as part of the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project. The closure is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Tuesday, December 14, 2010 and only will affect westbound traffic.

The closure will affect traffic heading west from the Division Street Bridge. At the intersection with Pleasant Street, motorists will be directed to turn left onto a section of Pleasant Street. This road was recently converted to two-way traffic as part of the recent closure of a section of Taft Street. The detour will follow Tower Street, East Avenue and George Street to return to Grace Street.

Last week’s closure of Taft Street and this week’s work on Grace Street represent the first steps of the $81 million Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project. While the main element of the project is replacement of the weight-limited highway bridges on I-95, RIDOT is making numerous improvements to roads and bridges in the immediate area.

To further explain the changes expected in the coming months, RIDOT and the City of Pawtucket are hosting an informational meeting tonight, Monday, December 13, at 6 p.m. at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center located at 175 Main Street in Pawtucket.

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, December 10, 2010

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Traffic Forecast for December 11-17, 2010 is now available at: http://bit.ly/bMWHHW

RIDOT Awards Life Saving Equipment Grants to North Kingstown and Warwick

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has awarded a total of $53,942 in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grants to the Town of North Kingstown and the City of Warwick to purchase Jaws of Life and cutter sets to improve response times for their local fire departments.

“We are pleased to offer this life saving equipment to both communities,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Although our goal is to prevent crashes, this equipment will aid emergency personnel in extricating persons from their vehicles when they have become entrapped following a crash.”

The 58-square mile Town of North Kingstown will be reimbursed with $27,712 to purchase their second Jaws of Life and cutters. Their fire department currently has one set on a Special Hazards vehicle located in the middle of the town in Wickford. They anticipate this additional purchase to greatly improve their current response times throughout town and to their neighboring communities of Narragansett, South Kingstown, Exeter, Jamestown and East Greenwich.

“On behalf of the Town of North Kingstown, I want to thank Director Lewis for awarding the Town this equipment,” said North Kingstown Town Manager Michael Embury. “A second set of “Jaws” will certainly improve the ability of fire personnel to extricate someone who is trapped in a vehicle. This equipment will also allow North Kingstown personnel to assist neighboring communities when needed without diminishing local coverage.”

Warwick, the second largest city in the State, will be reimbursed with $26,230. Presently only their Fire Department’s Special Hazards Unit has a set of jaws and cutters. The City anticipates their response time to outlying portions of their service area, such as Warwick Neck, to be shortened by adding the second set. Warwick is also targeting assisting their neighboring emergency personnel in West Warwick, East Greenwich and Cranston through this purchase.

“Every minute during an emergency is crucial,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. “We are grateful to RIDOT for this funding, which gives us more resources to ensure the safety and well being of our citizens and to assist neighboring communities in times of crisis.”

A total of $200,000 has been budgeted by RIDOT for this equipment. Although the Warwick and North Kingstown Fire Departments are the first to be reimbursed, RIDOT hopes to allocate additional funds to other departments based upon need. As part of RIDOT’s agreement to reimburse the departments for the equipment, North Kingstown and Warwick have committed to demonstrate the jaws and cutters, for example in a “mock crash” scenario, at high schools in their municipalities as part of a larger traffic safety educational program.

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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

RIDOT to open Blackstone Street for two-way traffic from Eddy Street to Allens Avenue

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that tomorrow, Thursday, December 9, 2010 it will open Blackstone Street between Eddy Street and Allens Avenue in Providence to two-way traffic. Blackstone Street will provide another option for those leaving or coming to the Rhode Island hospitals campus.

This street has seen numerous traffic pattern changes due to the Iway project. From 2008 until this fall, the street provided access to a temporary on-ramp to I-95 South.

RIDOT has completely removed the temporary on-ramp. Motorists in this area seeking access to I-95 South can use the existing on-ramp to I-95 South at Thurbers Avenue or travel north to the new on-ramp to I-95 South from Point Street.

During peak congestion periods on Eddy Street heading south toward Thurbers Avenue, motorists should follow Eddy Street north to Point Street. From there, they can follow the one-way service road circulator to the new I-95 South ramp at Point Street. Motorists on the western edge of the hospitals campus can use Prairie Avenue northbound to reach Point Street and the new on-ramp.

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

Governor Carcieri, RIDOT & RIAC host ceremonial MBTA Commuter Rail train ride from Providence to T.F. Green

Governor Donald L. Carcieri, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), along with dignitaries and guests, boarded a special Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail train today and took a ceremonial ride from the Providence Train Station to the new commuter rail stop at T.F. Green in Warwick. Full commuter service to this new station began this morning at 6:01.

“Improving our state's transportation system has continued to be a priority for my administration, and today is a historic day for intermodal transportation in Rhode Island,” said Governor Carcieri. “Linking train, air and auto vastly improves our ability to move people, goods, and services. We have created a 21st century transportation system and a model for the nation.”

The event train was greeted at T.F. Green station by the Pilgrim High School Marching Band along with waving flags and applauding spectators. After a transportation who’s who speaking program including Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff, MBTA General Manager and MassDOT Rail and Transit Administrator Richard A. Davey, RIDOT Director Michael Lewis, and RIAC President and CEO Kevin Dillon, the train headed back to Providence.

Other dignitaries in attendance included Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, RI House of Representatives Speaker Gordon Fox, RI Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, Governor-Elect Lincoln Chafee and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.

“Bringing commuter rail down to Warwick was truly a team effort, involving not just the men and women of RIDOT, but Amtrak, MBTA, and the Providence and Worcester Railroad. Everyone was integral in making this happen,” said RIDOT’s Director Lewis.

Trains will make six stops Monday through Friday on the Providence/Stoughton line to T.F. Green.

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

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.

“We can all be proud of yet another piece of infrastructure that will significantly enhance the airport, encourage economic development and deliver environmental benefits to the community and the state,” stated Kevin Dillon, President & CEO, Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “Having one of the closest rail-to-airport connections in the country will serve us well in marketing Green to domestic and international carriers while delivering improved customer service.”

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.

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Commuter Rail Service from Providence to TF Green begins today

To mark the start of commuter rail service between Providence and T.F. Green State Airport, RIDOT and the R.I. Airport Corporation are hosting a ceremonial train ride to celebrate the start of this expansion in commuter rail in Rhode Island. RIDOT will be live blogging from the event on its Facebook and Twitter sites beginning at 10 a.m.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Schedule change: Closure of Taft Street in Pawtucket now scheduled for Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is now scheduled to close a section of Taft Street in Pawtucket on Thursday, December 9, 2010 as part of the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project. This section of road will remain closed for approximately three years.

RIDOT originally scheduled the closure for Monday, December 6, but with a slight postponement, additional work can be completed at key intersections to considerably shorten the detour routes. Partly due to the number of one-way streets in the area, the detours require several turns to get around closed areas.

Because 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. The Department 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 follow onto a section of Pleasant Street restriped for two-way traffic. Turn left 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.

RIDOT Traffic Forecast

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Governor Carcieri, RIDOT & RIAC to Host Ceremonial MBTA Commuter Rail Train Ride from Providence to T.F. Green

Governor Carcieri, RIDOT & RIAC to Host Ceremonial MBTA Commuter Rail Train Ride from Providence to T.F. Green: http://bit.ly/eQJMNn

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