PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Heads up if you regularly drive through Providence via I-95 North.
Beginning Friday night, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will move traffic onto the newly constructed Providence Viaduct.
The high-speed lane will be the first to shift onto the new bridge, with traffic being redirected by a lane split just before Exit 37B/C/D (former Exit 22 to the Providence Place mall and 6/10 connector).
The lane split will be installed Friday night into Saturday morning.
“The area will be very well signed,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. “We will have signs directing people into the proper lanes. We just ask you to pay attention.”
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Alviti is warning drivers that the high-speed lane will be forced onto the bridge and unable to access Route 146 due to the lane split.
“If you are in the high-speed lane by accident, you’ll need to take the Branch Avenue exit and sort of loop through the city streets towards the state offices,” he explained.
He’s also urging drivers not to suddenly slow down or change lanes at the split to prevent crashes and additional travel delays.
The remaining lanes will migrate onto the new bridge over the next two weeks.
Once all the traffic has been diverted off of the old bridge, Alviti said it will be demolished to make way for a new ramp configuration that will separate merging traffic from traffic already on I-95.
The entire project is expected to be completed by fall 2025.
The Providence Viaduct Northbound Project, which costs roughly $265 million, began back in August 2020. The bridge is the third-most traveled part of the I-95 corridor in the Northeast and has been the subject of a lot of wear and tear over the years, according to RIDOT.