RIDOT announced today a number of changes to the street patterns west of the Jewelry District as part of the Iway project:
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that a number of changes will be taking place this fall in Providence as a result of the Iway project. The changes include the opening of new roads, bridges and on and off ramps and represent some of the final traffic changes related to the project.
The first change motorists will encounter is the opening of a new bridge spanning I-95 in the area of Friendship Street, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13, 2010. The new Clifford Street Bridge will carry one-way traffic westbound, and help improve travel through the city with another crossing over the I-95 corridor.
At the same time the new Clifford Street Bridge opens, RIDOT will be changing the traffic pattern on the nearby Point Street overpass from two-way travel to one-way eastbound toward Davol Square. Both bridges connect to service roads that run parallel to I-95.
Presently, the southbound service road is known as Service Road No. 7 and the northbound service road is called Service Road No. 8. These will be renamed and signed as West Franklin Street and East Franklin Street, respectively.
Both service roads and the Clifford Street Bridge and Point Street overpass will function as a circulator for traffic entering and exiting I-95 as well for east-west movements between the West End, South Providence and R.I. hospitals area and the Jewelry District and Downcity areas.
“We have seen improved travel times and reduced congestion on I-95 and I-195 as part of the Iway project,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “These next steps will help improve traffic flow in the city and make it easier for motorists to get on and off I-95 in Providence.”
In conjunction with the opening of the Clifford Street Bridge on October 13, RIDOT will open a new ramp from Point Street to I-95 North. Last year RIDOT opened a ramp from I-95 North to Point Street and later this year the final ramp in this area, Point Street to I-95 South, is scheduled to open.
Many other changes are planned for the remainder of 2010 associated with the Iway. These include new ramps to the R.I. hospitals area and additional changes to city streets near the I-95 corridor. Additionally, RIDOT expects demolition of the old I-195 highway to begin later this year.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
More at RIDOT
What the hell? They’re turning the Point St bridge over 95 into a one way, yet leaving it two way on either side?!?! How does that make any sense? Do they know how much traffic the other streets will get? The Point St bridge was designed for two way traffic. It’s huge and wide. Does anyone know if this is temporary or permanent?
Much of the traffic on Point St. westbound will be heading for the ramp to I95 South. (Not open yet) That would be an awkward, almost U shaped turn. This way there is no need for a left turn lane or signal phase at Point and West Franklin streets.
As usual, an important crossing from one part of the city to another becomes a no-go zone for all but the most hellbent bicyclists.