Starting on Wednesday, drivers heading in and out of Providence on Interstate 95 will notice a traffic pattern change.
You may have already noticed some of the electronic highway signs notifying drivers of the upcoming changes. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says the Blackstone Street Bridge is structurally deficient and needs repairs to the superstructure.
The bridge work will shift all traffic to the right side, so crews can work in the high speed lane. “It’s going to be a work zone. It’s going to look different. You could have some delays the first few days,” RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin tells me. The lane shift heading South will be in place for the Wednesday morning commute and will affect drivers between Exit 19 (Eddy St.) and Exit 18 (Thurbers Ave.) The lane shift heading North will affect drivers between Exit 18 (Thurbers Ave.) to Exit 20 (Point St.) starting on Thursday. This traffic pattern change will be in place for three to four months, according to DOT officials. The lane shift is the first of three related to the project. The exact timeline has not been determined but DOT officials say there will be another in the summer and again in the fall. Overnight lane closures may also be necessary during the late evening and overnight hours (After 10 p.m.) when traffic is light. The bridge repairs will also require the closure of Blackstone Street between Allens Avenue and Eddy Street. The bridge carries I-95 over Blackstone Street near the Rhode Island Hospital campus. The road closure will remain in effect until late fall. Click here for Real-Time Interactive Traffic Map, Drive Times & Live Traffic Cams »