Friday, April 29, 2011

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for April 30 to May 6, 2011, is available at http://bit.ly/bMWHHW.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

RIDOT Lane Closure on I-195 West to Begin at 7 pm

RIDOT is closing the two right lanes on I-195 West at the Pawtucket Avenue overpass in East Providence at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday for bridge deck repairs. Traffic coming to I-195 West from the Wampanoag Trail can expect delays. An alternating lane shift is possible on Pawtucket Avenue. The operation is anticipated to be completed prior to the Friday morning commute.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Design-build bridge competition highlights Construction Career Days

When most people hear the word “construction,” they likely think of heavy equipment such as excavators and dump trucks. While those vehicles are a vital component of many road and bridge projects, the reality is a wide range of professionals in numerous disciplines are necessary for each successful construction project. Getting high school students who are exploring career options to consider this fact is the driving force behind the 11th Annual Construction Career Days.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center (URITC) are again partnering to host this hands-on career exploration event, which returns this week on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28, 2011. RIDOT’s Midstate Maintenance Facility in East Greenwich is the host site for the two-day event, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., each day. Approximately 1,000 students from more than 50 technical and high schools throughout the State are anticipated to attend.

A key feature of the event this year is a design-build bridge competition, sponsored by RIDOT, the URITC, and Rhode Island Consulting Engineers (RICE). This year’s competition differs from last year’s debut event by placing a stronger emphasis on creativity and design. Each student team is given a set of specifications for their balsa wood bridge, but many of the design choices are left up to them.

“Much like the design-build process that RIDOT will be following for the replacement of the flood-damaged Laurel Avenue Bridge in Coventry, students will be given precise information to follow but will be responsible for coming up with the best design, the best solution, for their bridge,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said.

Each student team’s bridge will be tested by adding weight until it fails. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place based on the amount of weight held and the cost of construction. Last year, Tolman High School in Pawtucket took home the top honors on the first day of the event while on the second day, Burrillville High School and Spurwink School II of Lincoln both received trophies for their entries.

Students visiting Construction Career Days also will be able to operate a wide range of construction equipment such as backhoes, excavators, pavers and bucket trucks. Inside the Midstate facility, there will be a variety of activities including welding, hazardous materials suits, plumbing, electrical, a truck driver simulator and other disciplines. Also, a number of technical schools and colleges will be in attendance.

Additional Construction Career Day sponsors include Construction Industries of Rhode Island, New England Laborers Tri Funds, Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Rhode Island Public Works Association, Rhode Island Builders Association, Rhode Island Technology Transfer Center and the NorthEast Technicians Training Certification Program.

MEDIA PLEASE NOTE: For an opportunity to interview students from your coverage area and exhibitors, please contact Charles St. Martin at (401) 222-1362 x. 4007 or cstmartin@dot.ri.gov. All media are welcome to have a hands-on experience at Construction Career Days.

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DIRECTIONS: Take I-95 North or South to Exit 7 (West Warwick, Coventry). Follow signs.

Scheduled teams for this year’s bridge building competition include:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Burrillville High School (Burrillville); Bradley Hospital (East Providence); Ponaganset High School (Foster-Glocester); North Smithfield High School (North Smithfield); Central High School, Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical, and Providence Academy of International Studies (Providence); Eleanor Briggs School (Warwick); and Briggs Community Partnership (West Warwick).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spurwink School and Davies Career and Technical School (Lincoln); Block Island School (New Shoreham); North Providence High School (North Providence); North Smithfield High School (North Smithfield); William E. Tolman High School (Pawtucket); Hope High School (Providence); Tiverton High School (Tiverton); and Our Lady of Fatima High School (Warren).

Scheduled schools for all activities at Construction Career Days include:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Burrillville High School (Burrillville ); Harmony Hill School (Chepachet); Coventry High School - Transition For Success (Coventry); Cranston Area Career & Technical Center (Cranston); Cumberland High School (Cumberland); Bradley Hospital and East Providence Career & Technical Center (East Providence); Ponaganset High School (Foster-Glocester); Johnston High School (Johnston); High Road School of Providence (North Providence); Narragansett ALP (North Kingstown); North Smithfield High School (North Smithfield); Blackstone Academy, Shea High School, and The Tides School (Pawtucket); Central High School, Feinstein High School/Square Mile High School, Academy of International Studies, Providence Career & Technical Academy, The College Crusade of Rhode Island, and Metropolitan Regional Career & Tech Center (Providence), South Kingston High School (South Kingstown); R.I. Transition Academy, The Eleanor Briggs School, and West Bay Educational Collaborative (Warwick); Exeter/West Greenwich High School (Exeter/West Greenwich); Briggs Community Partnership (West Warwick); Chariho Career & Technical Center (Chariho); and Woonsocket Area Career & Technical Center (Woonsocket).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Central Falls High School (Central Falls); Coventry High School/Career & Tech Center (Coventry); Cranston ARC/Cornerstone School (Cranston); Cumberland High School (Cumberland); Exeter Job Corps Academy (Exeter); Lincoln High School- Transition Group, Spurwink School, and William M. Davies Career & Technical School (Lincoln); Block Island School (New Shoreham); Exeter/West Greenwich High School ALP (Exeter/West Greenwich); North Kingstown High School (North Kingstown); North Providence High School (North Providence); North Smithfield High School (North Smithfield); The Tides School and William E. Tolman High School (Pawtucket); CCAP- Learn to Earn: Skills Center, Mount Pleasant High School, Ocean Tides High School, The College Crusade of Rhode Island, The Providence Center School, and Youthbuild Providence (Providence); Smithfield High School (Smithfield); Tiverton High School (Tiverton); Our Lady of Fatima High School (Warren); and Beacon Charter High School (Woonsocket).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for April 23-29, 2011, is available at http://bit.ly/bMWHHW.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Traffic advisory for Evans Avenue in Tiverton

RIDOT is opening a new alignment of Evans Avenue in Tiverton near Sakonnet River Bridge project. See http://1.usa.gov/eT5P1R for more info.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Orange Cones are Back: RIDOT's Construction Season is Underway

Today marks the first week of the official start of construction season for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT). That means Rhode Islanders will notice more signs, orange cones and construction zones throughout the State’s highway system.

“This time of year is especially busy for our Department,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Since our full season began in earnest last Friday, more activity will be occurring within our roadway construction sites. We want to remind all motorists to be aware and drive with care.”

Several projects are set to be underway this construction season. They include resurfacing improvements to Route 3, from South Main Street to Arizona Street, in Coventry, and to Route 116, from Route 44 to Route 104, in Smithfield. The Department will also replace the sidewalks at the Chepachet River Bridge on Route 44 in Chepachet, and rehabilitate the Weekapaug Bridge on Atlantic Avenue in Westerly.

Other upcoming projects include the replacement of the Conant Street Bridge in Pawtucket and the Branch Avenue Bridge in Providence, and repairs to the Cove Bridge in Portsmouth.

RIDOT will also make roadway improvements to Waterfront Drive, from I-195 to Dexter Road in East Providence, and to Dunns Corner Road, from Route 1 to Route 91, in Westerly. Improvements will also be made to Route 2, from Route 102 to Route 4, in East Greenwich and North Kingstown, and to Hope Street, from Thames Street to Constitution Street, in Bristol. Additionally, the Department will resurface I-95 in both directions from Exits 5 to 8 in West Greenwich, East Greenwich, and West Warwick.

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

RIDOT on Transportation TV

RIDOT's Director Lewis talks to AASHTO's Transportation TV about funding transportation during lean times. http://bit.ly/gciMmi

Friday, April 15, 2011

RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for April 16-22, 2011, is available at http://bit.ly/bMWHI8.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for April 9-15, 2011, is available at http://bit.ly/bMWHHW.

RIDOT closing Route 146 overnight



The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will temporarily close Route 146 North and South in Lincoln during the overnight hours on Sunday, April 10, 2011, and Monday, April 11, 2011, for construction on the Wilbur Road Bridge. The closures will allow for the safe installation of steel beams for the new structure spanning Route 146.

RIDOT expects to fully close the highway at approximately 10 p.m. All lanes will be reopened by 5 a.m. the following day. Motorists can expect delays, especially at the beginning of the closure period, and may wish to seek alternate routes.

Due to the highway closure, RIDOT also will close the Wilbur Road on-ramp to Route 146 North, the Sherman Avenue on-ramp to Route 146 North, the Route 246 (Old Louisquisset Pike) on-ramp to Route 146 South, and the Breakneck Hill Road on-ramp to Route 146 North.

Detour maps can be found online at: http://www.dot.ri.gov/travelri/detourmaps.asp. The detours with turn-by-turn directions are as follows:

Route 146 North

• All traffic will be required to use the Route 123 (Breakneck Hill Road) exit • Turn left at the end of the ramp

• Turn right onto Route 246 North • Follow Route 246 to the Route 116 (George Washington Highway) interchange

• Turn left and follow to Route 116 East

• After passing under the Route 146 overpass, turn left for the on-ramp to return to Route 146 North

Route 146 South

• All traffic will be required to use the Route 116/Route 246 exit

• Bear left at the split on the ramp

• At the stop sign, proceed straight onto Route 246 South

• Follow Route 146 to Route 123 (called Jencks Hill Road)

• Turn left, and then take the first left for the on-ramp to return to Route 146 South

Reconstruction of the Wilbur Road Bridge is a part of a larger project that included resurfacing of Route 146 from south of the Sherman Avenue exit to the area of the Route 116 interchange. While the resurfacing work wrapped up last year, the bridge reconstruction will continue until this summer. The $8.2 million project is being built by D’Ambra Construction and is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

RIDOT closing Dyer Street at old I-195 overpass for two consecutive weekends



The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to close Dyer Street in Providence at the old I-195 overpass this weekend, April 9-10, 2011. This section of Dyer Street, from Clifford Street to Ship Street, must be closed to allow for safe demolition of the old highway bridge, part of a $6.8 million Iway demolition contract.

RIDOT intends to close the bridge at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, and reopen the road by 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. The current schedule calls for this road to be closed again the following weekend, April 16-17, 2011. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

The road will be closed to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and will allow RIDOT to demolish the bridge in a quick and safe manner. The closure is the latest in a series of demolitions scheduled to take place this year in Providence. The Department anticipates the entire highway demolition project to conclude in late summer.

“We understand these closures can be difficult for pedestrians and motorists,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We will work diligently to reopen this road as soon as possible.”

Unlike the recent two-week closure of a segment of Richmond Street – which is scheduled to reopen on Friday, April 8, 2011 – RIDOT is only closing Dyer Street on weekends to avoid disrupting weekday access to and from the busy J. Joseph Garrahy Judicial Complex. This detour also will be simpler than the Richmond Street detour because this portion of Dyer Street is a one-way road heading south.

During this project, RIDOT will demolish more than 3,500 feet of old I-195 and seven bridges. Former Iway contracts demolished an additional 1,500 feet of old highway. Old I-195 was built in the late 1950s and was officially closed in October 2009.

RIDOT has established detour routes for both vehicles and pedestrians for this closure. Access to local businesses will be maintained. The detours are as follows:

Vehicular Detours

Dyer Street Southbound:

• Turn right onto Clifford Street

• Turn left onto Richmond Street

• Turn left onto Ship Street to return to Dyer Street at Eddy Street

Pedestrian Detours

Dyer Street Northbound:

• Turn left onto Ship Street

• Turn right onto Richmond Street

• Turn right onto Clifford Street to return to Dyer Street

or

• Turn right onto Peck Street

• Follow sidewalk as the road turns left and under old I-195 bridge

• Follow sidewalk along the Providence River and return to Dyer Street

Dyer Street Southbound:

• Turn right onto Clifford Street

• Turn left onto Richmond Street

• Turn left onto Ship Street to return to Dyer Street

or

• Turn left onto Peck Street

• Follow sidewalk along the Providence River

• Turn right under old I-195 bridge

• Follow sidewalk to return to Dyer Street at Eddy Street

Maps and turn-by-turn directions also are available on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.

The demolition of old I-195 will open up about 35 acres of land that will be used to build new streets throughout Providence. This includes about 20 acres of new parcels that will be used for private development and new parks along the waterfront. It will also allow for the construction of a new bicycle/pedestrian bridge on the existing highway piers, which connects both sides of the Providence River at newly proposed parks.

Those 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 closing lane on I-95 South in Exeter tonight

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be closing a lane on I-95 South in Exeter tonight, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, to repair a deteriorated bridge joint. The closure could cause delays for those traveling on I-95. The Department expects to keep at least one lane of travel open at all times.

RIDOT expects to close the lane beginning at 6 p.m. The work should conclude prior to the morning commute on Wednesday.

Motorists wishing to avoid delays should use either Exit 6 (Route 3) or Exit 5 (Route 102) and follow Route 3 South through West Greenwich and Exeter. They can then return to I-95 South at Exit 4 in Richmond.

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, April 1, 2011

Weekly Traffic Forecast

The RIDOT Weekly Traffic Forecast for April 2-7, 2011 is available at http://bit.ly/bMWHI8.

AAA partners with RIDOT to light State House dome orange in recognition of Work Zone Awareness Week

AAA Southern New England and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) are partnering to increase motorist awareness of the need to drive carefully in work zones by illuminating the State House dome orange for the week of April 4 - 8, 2011. The lighting is part of a “Go Orange” theme RIDOT is adopting to mark the 12th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Motorists are invited to join in this campaign by wearing orange pins or clothing, decorating their home or office with the color orange or taking other creative means to show support for the men and women working in construction sites across the State. RIDOT has established a special website using the photo-sharing service Flickr, to which anyone can post pictures. Visit www.dot.ri.gov for links to the special Flickr site.

“Each year at the beginning of the construction season we remind people to slow down and drive carefully in work zones,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “Wearing or otherwise displaying the color orange is a visible sign that supports those who work every day to improve our roads and bridges.”

AAA and RIDOT have a strong relationship developing public awareness campaigns aimed at minimizing distracted driving, reducing drunk driving and encouraging people to buckle up. AAA is sponsoring the cost of the orange lighting of Rhode Island’s Capitol building in Providence.

“With road construction activity moving into high gear this spring, AAA Southern New England is pleased to partner with RIDOT on this important traffic safety awareness initiative,” said Lloyd P. Albert, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at AAA. “Navigating safely and slowly through work zones enhances the safety of motorists and construction workers and ultimately translates into lives saved and injuries prevented.”

Last year about 700 people in the United States were killed in work-zone related accidents. About 85 percent of those killed are not the workers on the road but the driver or occupant of the vehicle causing the crash. Additionally, more than 40,000 people nationwide are injured each year in work zone accidents.

National Work Zone Awareness Week takes place each April. It coincides with the return of warmer weather and the start of the Rhode Island construction season. RIDOT and AAA offer the following suggestions for motorists as they encounter more construction vehicles and workers in the coming weeks:

• Slow down: Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.

• Read the signs: Signage and flashing arrows are used to guide you and other drivers to move safely through the work zone.

• Don’t engage in distracting activities, especially the use of electronic devices: Whether it be talking or texting on a cell phone, checking directions on a GPS unit, or even changing radio stations. These all take a driver’s attention away from the road.

• Merge as soon as possible: Don’t drive right up to the lane closure and then try merging in.

• Expect delays: Leave early so you can reach your destination on time.

• Be patient and stay calm: Remember that work zones are a necessary part of operations to improve our network of roads and bridges.

RIDOT makes every effort to alert the public about planned work zones for construction and maintenance activities and posts them on its website at www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories.asp. Announcements regarding road closures are routinely posted on the Department’s social networking sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger. Weekly traffic forecasts also are sent to all Rhode Island media and traffic reporting services, and are published in the Providence Sunday Journal.

Travel planning resources provided by AAA also highlight current work zones and are marked on the auto club’s proprietary Triptik Travel Planner available at www.AAA.com.

RIDOT also performs intensive safety training each spring in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week with classroom and hands-on training for all of RIDOT’s field maintenance personnel.

Motorists, however, need to be prepared for unplanned work zones as well. RIDOT responds to reports for potholes, debris in the roads, and other urgent matters that require immediate attention. RIDOT uses highway message boards, its Highway Advisory Radio system (1630 AM), and 511 to relay this type of information. To report a road-related problem, contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

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