CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) began sliding one of two new bridge decks into place along Route 37 in Cranston Friday night.

The work requires the closure of a portion of Pontiac Avenue, as well as exits 31B and 31A on I-95 South, for two consecutive weekends.

The stretch of Pontiac Avenue located underneath the bridge decks closed at 8 p.m. Friday and will reopen at 6 a.m. Monday. The same days and hours apply to next weekend, when workers will slide the second bridge deck into place.

Driver should expect delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes to access the Garden City and Chapel View shopping centers, such as Route 10 to Route 2, I-295 to Route 2 and I-295 to Route 37.

There will be signs installed to direct drivers throughout the detours:

  • Route 37 West: Use Exit 1E (Pontiac Avenue) to detour, getting back onto the highway using the Route 37 West on-ramp located directly across the street. Police officers will be present to keep traffic flowing through the detour.
  • I-95 South Exit 31B toward Cranston: Use Exit 28B to I-295 North toward the Route 37 interchange.
  • I-95 South Exit 31A toward Warwick: Use Exit 29 (Airport Connector) and take the Post Road exit and turn left onto Route 1 North toward Airport Road.
  • Pontiac Avenue Southbound: Use Sockanosset Cross Road westbound to Route 2 South to the on-ramp to Route 37 East.
  • Pontiac Avenue Northbound: Use the on-ramp to Route 37 East and use Exit 2B for I-95 North, looping back onto Route 37 West (Exit 31B) and taking the off-ramp at Exit 1E to Pontiac Avenue.

The bridge decks were constructed in advance along Pontiac Avenue adjacent to Route 37, according to RIDOT. Each weekend, workers will demolish one half of the bridge and slide the new one into place.

The bridge deck replacements are part of RIDOT’s $75.9 million project to repair deficient bridges along Route 37, which is one of the state’s busiest corridors.

The Route 37 project in its entirety is expected to be completed by spring 2023.