RIDOT: Renumbering of I-295 set to begin in November

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island drivers could soon see changes to the exit numbers on I-295.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is working on a renumbering program, which will show drivers the distance from one exit to the next.

Many Rhode Islanders may have little difficulty reaching their destinations but the way signs have been numbered, telling them how to get there has been a bit more complicated.

“If there was a four or a five, and a new exit was built in between, they would have to change the numbering system for all of the exits in either direction,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said.

Alviti says a renumbering program for I-295 and other limited access highways will begin in November.

The new policy, adopted by the Federal Highway Administration in 2009, requires exits to be numbered according to the mile marker where they fall on a particular highway.

“So if an exit falls five miles from the beginning of the highway, it’s exit number five. And exit number 10 will be ten miles from the beginning,” Alviti said.

If new exits are built in between, they’ll be given the number of where that mile marker is located. The work will begin at the northern most part of I-295 and will start at zero. The project will take three years to complete and will cover all highways in every direction.

“So any of the highways moving from Connecticut to either Massachusetts to the north or to the east will start at zero when you enter the state from Connecticut and will progressively get higher in exit numbers as you travel either to the north or the west,” Alviti said.

The project will be paid for with federal funds and Alviti says the state is coordinating with GPS and online systems to the new system will be integrated.