PORTSMOUTH — A “road diet” for Bristol Ferry Road should go into effect by tomorrow afternoon, a spokeswoman for the R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) said today.
However, it seemed the bulk of the work was already completed by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
RIDOT is reducing a 1.2-mile stretch of Bristol Ferry Road — from Turnpike Avenue to Boyd’s Lane — by one lane in each direction, with a center lane for left-hand turns.
Robert A. Smith, deputy chief engineer at RIDOT, previously said the 40-foot-wide road would have two 11-foot travel lanes, a 10-foot center turn lane and 8-foot, 4-inch shoulders.
Workers Tuesday were seen removing the broken center lines to reduce the road to one lane in each direction, and painting temporary guide lines for the center lanes.
“The work on Bristol Ferry Road is expected to wrap up (Wednesday) afternoon,” RIDOT spokeswoman Rosamaria Amoros said in an e-mail Tuesday. “If there are any changes to the schedule, it will be posted on our travel advisories website at http://www.dot.ri.gov/travel/index.php.”
After a public hearing in March, the Town Council voted 6-0 to approve the lane reduction, with the stipulation that the “road diet” undergo a trial period through July 4 to see if it poses any major problems. If it doesn’t, it would be incorporated into the state’s re-paving of that road later in the summer.
At that March meeting, Mr. Smith said that was a reasonable request as long as it doesn’t delay the repaving project for too long.
Council members, Police Chief Robert Lee, Fire Chief Michael Cranson and most audience members said the lane reduction would reduce speeding and traffic accidents on Bristol Ferry.
Several people spoke out against the plan, however, saying Bristol Ferry is already congested enough without traffic being slowed down further.