Lane shifts, congestion expected with start of I-295 bridge work

REPAIR WORK on bridges that carry I-295 traffic at its interchange with Routes 6 and 6A will begin on Nov. 16. Work will continue through the summer of 2019. / COURTESY GOOGLE LLC
REPAIR WORK on bridges that carry I-295 traffic at its interchange with Routes 6 and 6A will begin on Nov. 16. Work will continue through the summer of 2019. / COURTESY GOOGLE LLC

JOHNSTON – The start of work on the bridges that carry traffic on Interstate 295 at its interchange with Routes 6 and 6A at exit 9 will begin Nov. 16, the R.I. Department of Transportation announced Friday.

The work is expected to cause congestion and travel delays, with the greatest impact expected to be on travelers from Route 6 West to I-295 North.

Work will continue until the summer of 2019.

The bridges receiving work were estimated to carry an average of 76,000 vehicles per day on both through lanes and service roads.

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The launch coincides with scheduled lane shifts related to the 6-10 Connector Interchange work.

Several planned traffic pattern changes are expected in the I-295 bridge work:

I-295 North

  • Closure of the northbound service road. Access to ramps to Route 6 East to Providence and Route 6 West to Hartford, Conn., will remain open.
  • Exit 9B will be closed (a route that allows traffic to reverse to I-295 South.) Travelers will be detoured to Exit 9C in the exit’s stead.

I-295 South

  • Closure of the southbound service road with access maintained for ramps to Route 6 West to Hartford, Conn., and Route 6 East to Providence.
  • The shift is expected to add 3 minutes to peak period commutes to existing congestion that already adds 10 minutes to a commute.

Route 6 West

  • The ramp from Route 6 West to I-295 North will be reduced from two lanes to one. Traffic will have to merge again with mainline I-295 traffic given the closure of the service road.
  • RIDOT said this change will create the greatest amount of travel time delay, adding a minimum of 10 minutes during afternoon rush hour.

Route 6 East

  • Minor delays are expected from the closure of the I-295 South service road.

Hartford Avenue (Route 6A)

  • The on-ramp from Hartford Avenue West to I-295 South will be closed. Changes will be made so that left turns will be allowed to the ramp to I-295 South already used by travelers going eastbound on Hartford Avenue.

RIDOT said that as part of the project, it will be decommissioning two bridges that were built to accommodate the expansion of the interchange that never occurred.