I-195 now shifting, splitting lanes for bridge maintenance projects

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is trying to prevent the chaos that ensued during the viaduct lane shift in the fall when it begins its latest project.

RIDOT said it has to perform some preventative maintenance on Providence-area interstate bridges. The work will be done in phases, affecting I-195, I-95 and the Clifford Street Bridge, the department said Tuesday.

The planned lane splits may remind you of the brouhaha RIDOT faced with I-95 southbound in Providence in a project on the viaduct next to Providence Place — from which there were lessons learned, and a big boost in signage.

The project starts on the section of I-195 in Providence east of the Providence River Bridge, near Exit 2. Lane shifts will be made in both directions.

Westbound, just after the exit for South Main Street, the right lane will split off so there will be a median of traffic barrels. All lanes will be thru lanes.

Eastbound, a similar median will be created between the two right lanes, which are fed by the off-ramp from I-95 South. The right-most lane will be the way to access Exit 2.

The project will maintain all lanes of travel during daytime and peak travel times, but overnight lane and off-ramp closures may be possible.

RIDOT needs to replace bridge joints in all the lanes. They believe the entire process will take till mid-June altogether.