NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) freshened up the paint at the intersection of Route 146 after two pedestrians were hit while crossing the street last week.
The first incident happened on Oct. 23, when a 52-year-old woman was hit and seriously injured while crossing Route 146 near the Sayles Hill Road intersection. The second happened three days later, when a 63-year-old man was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver.
The Sayles Hill Road intersection is currently in the process of receiving a makeover from RIDOT, which estimates that roughly 85 crashes happen there annually. Right now, it is the only signalized intersection on the entire Route 146 corridor.
The improvements are part of the $196-million Route 146 Reconstruction Project, which kicked off last August.
12 News reached out to RIDOT regarding the recent incidents. RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin said project management and safety staff recently visited the intersection to assess the conditions.
The staff determined that “all safety provisions were in place and the signals were functioning properly,” according to St. Martin.
St. Martin said the pedestrians in the most recent incidents weren’t walking or crossing the street in signalized spots.
The intersection’s traffic signal will be removed during construction, which is slated to wrap up in 2026. St. Martin didn’t provide specifics regarding the sidewalks along Route 146, but explained that pedestrians will eventually be able to walk along Sayles Hill Road under the new highway overpass to cross from one side to the other.