SMITHFIELD — As part of its ongoing project to rehabilitate the Putnam Pike Bridge, which carries Route 44 over I-295 in Smithfield, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will reduce the number of travel lanes from two to one by closing the left lane in each direction starting on Friday night, April 15.
RIDOT recommends that drivers plan some additional travel time and reduce their speed and drive carefully through the work zone. The Department carefully examined travel volumes and travel times on the bridge and does not expect significant increases in congestion beyond current conditions. The changes will not impact I-295 on and off-ramp traffic.
RIDOT’s $15.7 million project includes a full replacement of the bridge deck and making numerous other repairs to this 51-year-old bridge, which is only one rating point away from being classified as structurally deficient.
The initial phase of construction will be in place until fall 2022, when all travel lanes will be reopened to accommodate increased traffic associated with the holiday shopping season. In spring 2023, RIDOT will begin the second phase of work by again reducing travel lanes from two to one, this time closing the right travel lane. That second phase will be done by fall 2023.
The Putnam Pike Bridge carries 39,000 vehicles per day. It is an important east-west link for northern Rhode Island, connecting cars and trucks from bustling commercial districts in North Providence, Johnston and Smithfield to the Interstate as well as serving as a vital link to northwestern Rhode Island communities. With that large volume of traffic, it is imperative to maintain the bridge structure for the safety of motorists and to ensure efficient traffic operations, which support reduced vehicle emissions.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The rehabilitation of the Putnam Pike Bridge is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.
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