As a result of additional federal funding via the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — along with improved technology and efficiencies — RIDOT has been able complete many bridge repair and replacement projects sooner than expected.
In turn, this has enabled the agency to ramp up statewide paving and resurfacing efforts as part of its overall program. In 2023 alone, RIDOT will invest an additional $92 million into paving and resurfacing. It is part of a $500 million investment planned for the next five years.
Major road/bridge projects in motion or nearly complete include:
Route 6/10 Connector. Currently the largest RIDOT project in Rhode Island, this $410 billion undertaking slated to be finished by year’s end includes:
• Construction of a flyover ramp to provide the missing connection from Route 10 North to Route 6 West, while reducing local congestion in Olneyville
• Replacement or removal of 7 structurally deficient bridges
• Moving local bridges to function as boulevards to better connect Olneyville with Federal Hill and the West End
• New bike and pedestrian paths connecting to area neighborhoods, the Woonasquatucket River Bikeway and the Washington Secondary Bike Path
Providence I-95 Viaduct. The replacement of this 1,290 foot structure, one of the most heavily trafficked highway bridges on the East Coast, addresses a host of traffic and driving challenges. A total of 10 bridges will be rebuilt and replaced. A new collector-distributor (C-D) road will be built along the right side of I-95 North. This will eliminate the weaving conflicts and congestion that plague this section of highway — caused by converging traffic from the 6/10 Connector, downtown on-ramps and the Route 146/State Offices interchange. As of late 2022, all traffic is now utilizing the new structure.
Washington Bridge. While fixing structural deficiencies, this project includes a new ramp to Waterfront Drive in East Providence which will provide linkage to the Henderson Bridge and enable land development in that area. Working in conjunction with the Providence Viaduct project, its inherent traffic improvements are designed to fix chronic congestion problems on I-195 West — which typically backs up to the Massachusetts border on a daily basis.
Henderson Bridge. This significant bridge connecting Providence and East Providence, which carries 20,000 vehicles daily, has been structurally deficient for about 30 years. Thanks to the RI Congressional delegation, federal funds will pay for about 2/3 of this $84 million project. Commonly known as the Red Bridge, the new narrower structure will span the 2,000 feet distance over the Seekonk River using three lanes — two westbound and one eastbound. It is slated to be completed in 2024.
Route 37 Connector. This two-phase project will rehabilitate or replace 22 bridges, while making safety and congestion improvements for this critical east-west freeway in central Rhode Island. Phase 1 is focused on the segment connecting Route 1 in Warwick and the Pontiac Avenue interchange in Cranston. Phase 2 will include the construction of a new bridge west of Pontiac Avenue. Numerous improvements will also be made to improve safety and reduce congestion in the “Cranston Canyon” at the Route 37 and I-295 interchange, including the creation of a third auxiliary lane.
Pell Bridge Approaches. Since the Pell Bridge was built in the 1960s, the 138 North approach had yet to be addressed. The recently completed Phase 1 of this project focused on the reconstruction of JT Connell Highway and Coddington Highway, two roads which lead to the bridge from Portsmouth. Phase 2 to build the ramp interchange itself is now underway. The overarching goal is to improve the connection between Newport’s North End and the downtown area, while helping to alleviate the congestion caused by significantly increased traffic volumes on Aquidneck Island bridges and roadways. The project is also designed to spur economic development by freeing up desirable parcels of land.
To view and/or download the full quarterly report document, visit the RhodeWorks homepage on the RIDOT website at: www.dot.ri.gov/RhodeWorks/