Traffic Concerns: Bridge replacement plan begins in mid-October on Interstate 95
A bridge replacement project might impact your mid-October driving plans.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation laid out the plan Friday afternoon. It involves one of the busiest highways in the state.
"To the average person riding along the road, it'll pretty much look the same before,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.
But to RIDOT, the pair of Tefft Hill Trail bridges, which carry Interstate 95 over a road to Arcadia Management Area from Route 3, will look very different
“The structure itself that is becoming deficient will be replaced with a new structure,” said Alviti.
The side-by-side interstate highway bridges were becoming unsafe.
That’s why RIDOT is trying to get ahead of the game with a one-year, $6 million project to replace both bridges.
The new bridges are smaller since they cross a narrow dirt road used mainly as a trail.
RIDOT hopes the concrete tunnels will cost less to maintain than traditional bridges.
Alviti said there will not be any hazards with the smaller bridges.
“The smaller bridge structure will continue to allow the trail below, that it's going to go over to operate as it has in the past,” said Alviti.
The bridges are being downsized, but there isn't much the state can do about the disruption to traffic on Route 95.
This will take more than two full days, and during that time, northbound 95 traffic will have to get off at exit 4, with big rigs re-entering near the truck stop at exit 5, and cars getting back on at exit 6.
The detour is expected to start Oct. 13 around 9 p.m., and the new bridge should be carrying I-95 north traffic again by early Monday morning
RIDOT is doing the work during the weekend, but because traffic is often heavy all week long on the highway, expect delays if you're coming up from Connecticut the weekend after Columbus Day.