RIDOT delays closing of I-195 exit to East Providence

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PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced Friday, Nov. 16, it will postpone the planned closure of a bridge that carries off-ramp traffic from Exit 4 on I-195 East to Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence by one week. The closure is now scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 24.

The reason for the delay is the activation of a temporary traffic signal at the end of Exit 5, where it meets Warren Avenue. Because of demands on National Grid for ongoing restoration from Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast, a project to extend an electrical connection to the temporary signal could not be completed on schedule. Although Exit 5 is not a detour route for the closed ramp, RIDOT expects increased traffic on this exit and chose to include a temporary traffic signal to increase safety at the ramp’s intersection with Warren Avenue.

Motorists may notice a flashing signal at this location until the ramp to Veterans Memorial Parkway is closed next week and the signal is brought into full operation.

RIDOT is closing the bridge on Exit 4 until Summer 2013 in order to rehabilitate it. As the Exit 4 ramp splits in two directions, RIDOT only will be closing the right lane to Veterans Memorial Parkway. RIDOT will maintain access to the left lane, which leads to Route 44 (Taunton Avenue).

Motorists on I-195 East will be directed to follow a detour using Exit 8 (Route 1A/Route 114) to Warren Avenue. The detour then turns south onto Pawtucket Avenue and returns to Veterans Memorial Parkway in the vicinity of Bradley Hospital. A detour map is available on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov/travelri/detourmaps.asp.

The bridge is being rebuilt at a cost of $2 million, and is part of a larger project to preserve the old Washington Bridge and transform it into a linear park and bikeway.

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 and Facebook.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.