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Travel delays expected on I-195 with Washington Bridge work set to begin

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Drivers can expect to see some changes Friday on I-195, along with an increase in travel time, as work gets underway on one of the most well-traveled and structurally deficient bridges in the state.

That’s according to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), which says there will be lane shifts on the westbound side of the highway starting at 9 p.m. so construction crews can begin rebuilding the Washington Bridge.

“We ask that everybody give themselves a little bit more time on Monday to get to work,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. “After a couple of days, we expect people getting used to the new pattern, it will mitigate somewhat the congestion that’s caused. There will be some minor congestion after that.”

The construction will span from the Broadway interchange in East Providence to the South Main Street exit in Providence.

RIDOT says all four lanes of I-195 West will be narrowed and shifted to the right, while the Taunton Avenue, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Warren Avenue on-ramps will be reduced to a single lane.

This stretch of highway is one of the busiest in the state, according to RIDOT, with the Washington Bridge carrying roughly 96,000 vehicles per day.

Alviti said RIDOT hopes to finish the $78 million project by summer 2026, and the goal is to not only renovate the bridge, but also improve driving conditions in the area.

“We’re not just going to take a structurally deficient bridge and rebuild it in the same way,” he added. “We will be rebuilding it in a way that will improve the traffic flow through the area, and mitigate a lot of the congestion that people experience every morning coming in from points east.”

Visit RIDOT’s website to learn more about the Washington Bridge project.

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