Monday, February 27, 2012

RIDOT urges motorists to 'Click It Or Ticket' day and night

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will join forces with State and local law enforcement this March to conduct overnight seat belt patrols. This will be the first time the State has funded a seat belt campaign to be conducted almost exclusively at night.

From March 15 - 24, 2012, teams of officers will be monitoring seat belt use throughout the state. Violators will be fined $85 for each person in the vehicle who is not wearing a safety restraint.

The new strategy is based on data that shows 79 percent of passenger vehicle fatalities in Rhode Island occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. In those fatal crashes, nearly three-quarters of the motorists killed were not wearing their seat belts.

For more information, please see http://t.co/8GnSH0RT.

New Pawtucket River Bridge deck work begins

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it has started assembling the deck for the first span of the new Pawtucket River Bridge project. The deck for this bridge will be built entirely with pre-cast components, which will allow the Department's contactor to complete the bridge more quickly than traditional concrete pouring methods.

This pace of construction may also allow this portion of the bridge to open to traffic by late Spring 2012. This section of the bridge will temporarily carry traffic for I-95 North, and will allow RIDOT to lift the 18-ton weight limit for northbound truck traffic. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.

Replacement of the Pawtucket River Bridge is a high priority for RIDOT. By the end of 2012, RIDOT anticipates shifting all traffic to the new structures and eliminating the current 18-ton weight restriction for northbound and southbound traffic on I-95. The entire project is scheduled to conclude in mid-2013.

"We are working aggressively with our contactor to accelerate the replacement of this vital highway link," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "In the span of just two years, we will have opened seven out of 10 bridges being built as part of this project."

Building the bridge in phases will allow RIDOT to complete the reconstruction of the Pawtucket River Bridge with minimal impact to highway traffic and no reduction in travel lanes throughout the life of the project. The Department has worked closely with the City of Pawtucket to examine any wear and tear to city streets as a result of local truck detours and make repairs as needed.

Those with questions can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT's social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reminder: RIDOT to hold meeting on proposed MBTA fare and service changes

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding commuters and travelers that it will hold a public meeting on Monday, February 27, 2012, to discuss the proposed changes to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) fare and service schedule.

The meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Atrium at the Rhode Island Department of Administration, One Capitol Hill, Providence. RIDOT will facilitate a discussion between the public and representatives from the MBTA, who will be on hand to present the plan and answer questions.

For more information, please see http://www.ri.gov/DOT/press/view.php?id=15963.

Friday, February 17, 2012

RIDOT's Weekly Traffic Forecast

RIDOT's Traffic Forecast for February 18-24, 2012 is now available at: http://t.co/3ViPoTNV.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Press Release: RIDOT, Building Futures Celebrate Success of Training Program

Calling it a "Creative Training Partnership that's Working", representatives from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration today joined Building Futures staff, trainees and graduates to highlight the successful implementation of RIDOT's State Transportation Employment Program (STEP), a training initiative funded through the Federal Highway Administration.

Please see http://t.co/jdGa36iv for more information.

Friday, February 10, 2012

RIDOT's Weekly Traffic Forecast

RIDOT's Weekly Traffic Forecast is now available at: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

RIDOT using new technology to help battle winter storms

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will be using a new method of road pre-treatment prior to the forecasted winter storm tomorrow, Saturday, February 11, 2012. Starting today, the Department will be applying a salt brine solution on a test portion of I-95 North and South, from Exit 7 in West Greenwich to the area of Exit 20 in Providence.

The operation consists of two trucks applying the brine solution (a saltwater concentrate) one lane at a time, beginning with the low-speed lanes. Drivers will make continuing passes until this entire section of I-95 has been treated. Motorists encountering this operation should use caution, as the trucks will be traveling below the posted speed limit during the application.

The highway will appear wet for some time, but as it evaporates, a thin layer of salt will remain on the roadway. When snowfall begins tomorrow, it will prevent ice and snow from bonding with the pavement.

The conventional method of road pre-treatment involves the application of salt timed right before the first flakes fall. Salt brine is advantageous because it can be applied up to three days before the storm, providing an initial treatment of salt at the beginning of snowstorms when roads often become slick very quickly.

"We think this new technology will keep roads clearer longer, but motorists should not expect snow-free surfaces at all times, as all storms vary in intensity," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "We still urge motorists to exercise caution by reducing their speed and avoiding unnecessary travel during snowstorms."

Once a snowstorm is under way, RIDOT works to plow and apply sand and salt to keep the roads as clear as possible. A key goal is to keep a slushy, briny solution on the pavement surface, which keeps the snow from becoming compacted and then freezing. This method also quickens final clean up once the storm is over.

RIDOT will evaluate the effectiveness of the salt brine during this weekend's storm and hopes to expand its usage to other highways and roads. In certain conditions, the application of a salt brine solution may not be feasible because it is dependent on air and surface temperatures.

The Department expects to reduce the overall usage of salt during storms using this salt brine application. Additionally, the Department has outfitted many of its trucks with more precise salt metering systems to better control the application of this material – the most costly components of winter storm operations. The Department also provides incentives for private state-contracted vendors who choose to use more efficient and environmentally friendly methods of applying road salt during winter storms.

Those with questions can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT's social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.

Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362, Ext. 4007

RIDOT to Hold Meeting on Proposed MBTA Fare and Service Changes

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will hold a public meeting on Monday, February 27, 2012, to discuss the proposed changes to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) fare and service schedule.

The meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Atrium at the Rhode Island Department of Administration, One Capitol Hill, Providence. RIDOT will facilitate a discussion between the public and representatives from the MBTA, who will be on hand to present the plan and answer questions.

For more information, please see http://t.co/eGmEvaWw.

Traffic Advisory: Exit 4 closed on I-195

I-195 EB at Exit 4, the off-ramp to Veterans Memorial Parkway will be closed for bridge work Friday beginning at 10:30 a.m. Access to Taunton Ave. via Exit 4 will remain open. Follow signed detour.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Media Advisory: RIDOT/Building Futures Event

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Building Futures will hold an event next week to highlight a partnership between the two organizations. Please see bit.ly/xcEG5n for more information.

Friday, February 3, 2012

RIDOT's Weekly Traffic Forecast

RIDOT's Weekly Traffic Forecast for February 4-10, 2012 is now available at: http://www.tmc.dot.ri.gov/traveladvisories/default.asp.

RIDOT to Temporarily Close Portion of I-95 in Pawtucket During Early Morning Hours

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will temporarily close portions of I-95 South and I-95 North in Pawtucket during the early morning hours on Tuesday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 8, 2012. The temporary closure is necessary for continued work on the installation of the new beams that will ultimately carry northbound traffic on George Street. RIDOT is replacing the George Street Bridge as part of the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project.

The scheduled closure of I-95 South and I-95 North in Pawtucket is as follows:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. I-95 South between Exit 27 (George Street, Cedar Street, McCoy Stadium, Downtown Pawtucket, North Providence) and the on-ramp from Cedar Street.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. I-95 North between Exit 27 (George Street, Cedar Street, McCoy Stadium, Downtown Pawtucket, North Providence) and Exit 28 (RI Route 114/School Street, Slater Mill, McCoy Stadium, Memorial Hospital, Pawtucket) will be closed.

The current truck detour will not be affected. The car detour is as follows:

I-95 South Detour:

• Take Exit 27 • Go straight on Cedar Street • Slight left onto I-95 South

I-95 North Detour:

• Take Exit 27 • Go straight on Marrin Street • Continue straight through the traffic signal at George Street (Marrin Street becomes Grace Street) • Continue straight through the signals at Pleasant Street, Water Street, and School Street • Left on Prospect Street • Right on Vernon Street on-ramp to I-95 North

Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 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: Heidi Gudmundson (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4009

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