NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is working to ease traffic congestion both on and around the Newport Pell Bridge.

The congestion is being caused by an ongoing ramp reconstruction project, according to RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.

“We apologize for the inconveniences that the project is creating,” Alviti said. “From the first day, we have been working continuously to put in place improvements that mitigate this inconvenience.”

Courtesy: RIDOT

Beginning Wednesday, the traffic light at the intersection of Halsey Boulevard and Admiral Kalbfus Road will allow drivers to make free-moving left and right turns more frequently. Alviti hopes this change will mitigate traffic backups.

On top of that, a brand new traffic signal was installed on JT Connell Highway headed towards the bridge. The goal of the new traffic light is to prevent backups caused by the existing stop sign on the JT Connell Connector Road.

Alviti said new pathfinding signs will be installed next week that will clearly show drivers how to reach major destinations within the city.

“We know that during construction, projects of this magnitude and complexity can create challenges and some temporary inconvenience to commuters in their vicinity, but we are always working to make the process as painless as possible,” Alviti said. “We assure you that some inconveniences are both necessary and temporary in order to make the space we need available to build the new and much improved infrastructure.”

The ramp reconstruction is part of the more than $85 million Newport Pell Bridge Interchange Project, which began in 2020 and is expected to wrap up in 2024.