City looks to eliminate one-way streets, loops in Apponaug area

New construction in Apponaug is aimed at solving a problem residents have complained about for decades.

John Santos owns a business right across from City Hall in Warwick

He said traffic is really crazy around the area.

"There's nothing really in place to slow them down," he said.

The road sees nearly 29,000 cars speed by every day.

But city officials are looking to redesign the area by spending more than $30 million over the next three years to reduce the volume of traffic and to create a better flow.

"Thirty million, all federal funded. No city or state money going into that," said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.

The plan is to eliminate one-way streets and loops to accommodate for new sidewalks and better parking.

Avedisian said the ultimate intent is to create a better business climate. While some traffic is good for businesses, too much at high rates of speed is not.

"For years the traffic that goes by here, you can't get any parking for businesses so all the small businesses in Apponaug have suffered," he said.

Avedisian said the existing area was created 40 years ago as a temporary fix. Now, he said the fix is designed to be more permanent.

"DOT has been pushing against closures so their goal is to keep lanes open in all directions at all times," he said.

Santos said the traffic is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

"(People) shouldn't have to jeopardize their lives to get a sandwich," he said.

He's hoping that the traffic fix does the trick.

"I think in the long run, after they're all done. There's a lot of complaining right now but I think overall it's a good idea that probably should have been done a while ago," Santos said.

Work is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2017.

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