EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Drivers will begin using the newly built Henderson Bridge on Thursday night.
Also known as the Red Bridge, the structure carries traffic over the Seekonk River, connecting East Providence to the East Side of Providence.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) said it will be opening the new bridge in phases, starting with westbound traffic.
Below is a timeline of their plans.
Thursday, Nov. 16
The westbound lanes toward Providence will open.
Drivers will notice a new roundabout on Massasoit Avenue in East Providence. They can either exit onto the bridge or continue straight on Massasoit Avenue.
According to RIDOT, those coming from North Broadway will need to take the exit onto Massasoit Avenue toward Rumford, which has been closed for two years. Temporary traffic lights will be installed to allow for left turns onto Massasoit Avenue toward the roundabout and bridge.
The eastbound Massasoit Avenue exit will also be closed at this time. RIDOT said all traffic will exit at North Broadway and follow a detour to Waterman Avenue before reaching Massasoit Avenue.
Monday, Nov. 20
The eastbound lanes toward East Providence will open by the morning commute.
Drivers coming from Waterman Street will head over the new bridge to the roundabout. However, RIDOT said all traffic heading to North Broadway will have to follow a detour via Massasoit Avenue until next spring.
By Monday, Nov. 27
The shared-used bike path opens on the eastbound side of the bridge.
Cyclists can continue to use the old bridge until then, according to RIDOT.
The original bridge was built in 1969 and deemed structurally deficient in 1996. Over the past 10 years, RIDOT said it’s spent roughly $4 million to keep it safe.
Construction on the $84.4 million project will continue all through next year, including the demolition of the old bridge. More than $54 million is federal funding secured by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.