Bridge work may impact travel on Providence highways

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has begun a project that could cause delays for those driving through the capital city.

RIDOT says crews will be working on highway bridges in Providence over the next several months. The agency asks that drivers be patient and be cautious in the area as there will be a lot of construction workers and traffic changes in both directions on I-195.

Workers will be replacing the joints on the Iway and South Main Street bridges, which are starting to leak, according to David Fish, chief engineer at RIDOT.

“Typically those bridge joints are about 10 years old,” said Fish. “And because of the heavy traffic volumes that are on 195, they wear and tear really quickly.”

The initial phase of the project is focused on both directions of I-195 in the area of Exit 2. Fish said crews will be working from right to left.

“They will start off in the right – in the low-speed shoulder – and then when that work is done, they will move to the next lane,” he explained. “They will do that all the way across the bridge until they are complete.”

According to RIDOT, all lanes of travel will be open during the daytime and peak travel periods, but lane and off-ramp closures are possible during the overnight hours.

The first phase of the project is slated to wrap up in June. Once that happens, workers will then start repairing joints on the Clifford Street Bridge. As a result, that bridge will be closed on the weekends for about a month.

The third and final phase will focus on the ramp that connects I-195 West to I-95 South.

“We want it to be an infrastructure that is in pristine, good condition,” Fish added. “We want to maintain it that way so that people can enjoy that for years to come.”

As it stands, the entire project is on budget ($3.2 million) and is set to be completed on time (by the end of the year.)