Gano Street exit closed on I-195 for the next year

Gano Street Exit 3 closed on I-195 closed for the next year. (WJAR)

Construction on the Washington Bridge was underway Monday, which means the Gano Street exit, or exit 3, is closed for the next year.

RIDOT opened a temporary on ramp on Taunton Avenue in East Providence, while the original ramp has been closed for construction.

While exit 3 is closed, RIDOT recommends people use exit 2 at South Main Street and follow a signed detour, using pike street, South Water Street and India Street, and then Gano Street.

Traffic was heavy as commuters begin to adjust to the changes.

“The first day is always the toughest,” David Fish of RIDOT told NBC 10 News. “People have to get used to the change in the traffic pattern.”

Fish also told drivers to “plan ahead, add some extra time, there will be congestion. We’re doing our best to monitor the congestion and we’ll make some tweaks as we can.”

The bridge is about 50 years old and hasn't been repaired in 20 years. The state called it “structurally deficient.”

RIDOT said it would cost more than twice as much to replace the westbound side of the bridge as it would to repair it.

Exit 3 is slated to re-open in October 2019. When the ramps re-open, all traffic will shift to the slow speed side of the roadway until project completion.

The entire $22.3 million bridge project is expected to wrap up in December 2020.

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