RIDOT announces I-95 lane shifts at I-195 exchanges

Include different split configurations through the summer

Posted 6/21/19

PROVIDENCE — Lane changes to the state’s main traffic artery may affect motorists driving to and from the East Bay and Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Rhode Island Department of …

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RIDOT announces I-95 lane shifts at I-195 exchanges

Include different split configurations through the summer

Posted

PROVIDENCE — Lane changes to the state’s main traffic artery may affect motorists driving to and from the East Bay and Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced the schedule for a series of temporary traffic patterns on I-95 in Providence as part of the $10.8 million Oxford Street Bridge rehabilitation project. The changes will include lane splits this summer for both northbound and southbound traffic between Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) and the I-195 interchange.

The traffic patterns will provide a safe work zone so RIDOT can rapidly replace the bridge deck. The Department chose the summertime for this work because traffic volumes are lower as compared to other times of the year.

The first change is scheduled to go into effect on Friday, June 28 with all southbound lanes shifting to the left. The current left lane shift on the northbound lanes will remain in place. RIDOT expects minor delays from this change, and no exits or off-ramps will be closed.

Starting in mid-July, RIDOT will introduce a split-lane traffic configuration for both directions of I-95. The pattern will change every two to three weeks as RIDOT installs new deck sections one lane at time. All split-lane configurations are scheduled to be complete by the end of summer.

The introduction of the lane splits, coupled with an existing short merge for on-ramp traffic from Thurbers Avenue and Allens Avenue to I-95 North, may cause additional delays during rush hour periods. Motorists using the Thurbers Avenue/Allens Avenue on-ramp, particularly commercial truck traffic in and around the Port of Providence area, may wish to use alternate routes or avoid travel during the busiest times, which are typically 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays. RIDOT will keep this on-ramp open, but will carefully monitor traffic and make changes as necessary.

This section of I-95 already is subject to daily congestion and travel delays. Motorists should plan extra time for their trip, especially during peak morning and afternoon rush hours. The use of alternate routes is recommended during those times. To avoid traffic congestion, RIDOT recommends that motorists ride the commuter rail to Providence or Boston during this work. There are 20 stops on weekdays at both Wickford Junction and T.F. Green Stations. See www.RideTheRailsRI.com for more information.

As was the case with lane splits RIDOT used last summer for highway work, all travel lanes will continue through the work zone. Motorists should not stop or switch lanes. Such behavior can lead to crashes or create unnecessary congestion for motorists behind you.

RIDOT is using accelerated bridge construction methods to rebuild this bridge and reduce the impact of construction on motorists. The Department will deploy pre-manufactured Northeast Extreme Tee (NEXT) beam components - a concrete deck/beam combination that is installed side-by-side to rapidly create a new bridge deck. This new technology will allow RIDOT to complete all phases involving traffic pattern changes this summer, shaving several months off the construction schedule.

All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.

The rehabilitation of the Oxford Street Bridge is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.

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