Signs along Metacom Avenue will direct traffic to downtown business district

Bristol detours begin this Monday as bridge work ramps up

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 2/28/20

 

Despite protests from Bristol merchants about detour signs steering people away from the downtown district, those signs will remain in place. Installed earlier this week, those signs direct …

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Signs along Metacom Avenue will direct traffic to downtown business district

Bristol detours begin this Monday as bridge work ramps up

Posted

 

Despite protests from Bristol merchants about detour signs steering people away from the downtown district, those signs will remain in place. Installed earlier this week, those signs direct motorists northbound from the Mt. Hope Bridge to follow Metacom Avenue (Route 136) and avoid traveling downtown. Beginning this Monday, the northbound lane of Route 114 will be closed for most of the next six months, while the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT) replaces the tiny Silver Creek Bridge.

“Their position, and they are firm on this, is that commuters have the right to be informed of the detour,” said Town Administrator Steven Contente. “I understand business owners are very worried, but DOT maintains that motorists need to be given fair warning.”

However, there’s a compromise.

At a Thursday, Feb. 27, meeting, attended by close to 20 town and state officials to finalize plans for Monday’s closure, it was announced that DOT will be placing numerous signs at intersections along Metacom, directing traffic toward the downtown business district. In an email, David Walsh, DOT’s assistant director for business outreach, said, “The complete signage package is being put in place prior to Monday’s detour. We have an abundance of signs that will both direct traffic and call out the downtown businesses. 

“We also will have teams from two traffic consulting companies, RIDOT safety, RIDOT construction and Town of Bristol officials, monitoring the traffic flow and signage impact over the first two weeks of the detour. Signal timing and business/detour signage will be edited and/or added as necessary.”

RIPTA bus routes

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority detour plans were released Thursday afternoon, and Route 60 will be working on an altered northbound route through Bristol for the duration of the closure, anticipated to last though August, 2020. Northbound buses will detour from Route 114 north by turning east on Franklin St., north on Wood St., east on Bay View Ave., then north on Metacom Ave. before turning west on Chestnut St. and returning to Route 114 northbound.

Route 60 southbound will not be impacted. For more information of RIPTA service, call 401/781-9400 or visit ripta.com.

Information on the impact of the detour on bus service to Bristol Warren Schools is soon to be released, though only one route, servicing the Guiteras School, is expected to be impacted. According to the district, the families of students affected by that route change have already been notified.

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