Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) kicked off the I-295 paving project, one of the first in RIDOT’s aggressive five-year program to repave Rhode Island’s worst roads.
Article continues below
The I-295 corridor is one of the poster children for potholes and rough surface.
RIDOT will pave the entire I-295 corridor from the Massachusetts state line in Cumberland to the I-95 interchange in Warwick both northbound and southbound. This is more than 40 miles of interstate highway.
The project also includes resurfacing two small sections of deteriorated pavement on I-95 in Pawtucket from Lonsdale Avenue to Walcott Street.
The $36 million project is one of many paving projects scheduled this year as part of RIDOT’s $92 million investment in paving. Over the next five years, RIDOT will invest $492 million to resurface Rhode Island’s state roads.
The project will be done in two phases working from north to south. Phase one will resurface the highway from the Massachusetts state line to the Route 44 interchange (Exit 12). Phase two will repave from Route 44 to I-95. Paving of the on and off ramps will take place next spring.
This work has environmental benefits. First, the paving mixes that RIDOT uses take advantage of state-of-the-art research to produce the most durable and smooth riding surface. This greatly extends the life of the road surface and eliminates the need for resurfacing which involved large equipment and traffic tie ups.
It also saves millions of taxpayer dollars and conserves resources including petroleum products used in asphalt production.
The project includes stormwater improvements. RIDOT will clean existing drainage pipes and structures and construct stormwater treatment units. Stormwater improvements include the construction of 12 Stormwater Treatment Units (STUs) along I-295 from approximately Scott Road to the Massachusetts State Line in Cumberland.
The project includes the widening and regrading of existing open drainage channels within the median and along the shoulders of I-295. These STUs will capture stormwater through the installation of additional paved waterways as well as through existing closed drainage.
The STUs will also treat stormwater through the installation of check dams and the raising of existing outlet control structures to create storage volume for each STU. Pre-treatment of the stormwater will be achieved through the installation of sediment forebays at the bottom of the paved waterways.
Work is scheduled for completion in 2024. I-295 carries 50,000 vehicles daily. The section of I-95 in Pawtucket carries 110,000 vehicles a day.
I-295 has not been paved since 2004. It is one more example of years of neglect of Rhode Island’s roads and bridges over decades that RhodeWorks is designed to remedy. ■