New Lanes To Reduce Waits On Washington Bridge

A new traffic pattern was to be announced this afternoon for the Washington Bridge. The goal is to improve travel time on I-195 west and ease congestion leading to the bridge. The westbound side has been closed since December 11th, due to the critical failure of structural components.

"Rhode Island remains committed to addressing concerns at the Washington Bridge and providing relief to drivers and travelers," said Governor Dan McKee. "I'd like to thank my Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Almond, Director Peter Alviti, Rhode Island DOT, and our partners at the Federal Highway Administration for working to open this third lane, which will cut back on travel delays and reduce congestion around the bridge."

RIDOT, along with traffic engineering and structural engineering consultants and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) traffic experts, have certified that the eastbound bridge structure is sufficient to carry the extra lane. The maximization of the entire paved width of I-195 East with narrowed lanes will increase motor vehicle capacity by 50% and will be safer and more efficient than the existing configuration.

Work will begin on Monday, February 26 with design and ordering materials, followed by construction to move the start of the bypass lanes in East Providence about 3,000 feet west of its current location. The entire process to implement the three-lane configuration and open it to traffic will take approximately eight weeks. The schedule is subject to changes brought about by supply chain issues, adverse weather, and temperature. RIDOT will continuously report on its progress.

Nearly 100-thousand vehicles use the bridge daily.

(Photo From RI DOT)

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