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Demolition of East Shore Expressway begins; detours in place

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A number of detours are now in place in East Providence as construction crews replace one of the bridges on the East Shore Expressway.

Starting Friday night, Exit 7 off I-195 East and a section of Warren Avenue were closed to traffic.

The “functionally obsolete” bridge will be completely replaced over the next four days, allowing trucks to finally travel over it.

In the above video, Eyewitness News Reporter Steph Machado takes a tour of the detours in place.

Warren Avenue Closure Westbound Detour:

  • Right on Warren Avenue/County Street Eastbound, toward Route 114A
  • Left on Waterman Avenue
  • Left on Pawtucket Avenue
  • Right on Warren Avenue

Warren Avenue Closure Eastbound Detour:

  • Left on Pawtucket Avenue
  • Right on Waterman Avenue
  • Right on Warren Avenue
  • Left on Route 6 Eastbound

East Shore Expressway Southbound Closure Detour:

  • Take Exit 6 off of I-195 Eastbound
  • Left on Warren Avenue
  • Right on Pawtucket Avenue
  • Left on Wampanoag Trail
  • Right onto Route 114 Southbound toward Wampanoag Trail

Four days of detours will be a small price to pay for drivers compared to one year of traffic that would’ve resulted from a traditional bridge replacement, according to RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.

Instead of closing one lane at a time, RIDOT will close the whole expressway, demolishing and replacing it within approximately 80 hours.

“So while the 80-hour period is a temporary inconvenience, the solution we’re putting in here is a permanent one,” Alviti said.

Crews built the new expressway bridge in a vacant lot right next to the old one. It’s an accelerated technique that Alviti hopes to use for more of the 250 bridges slated to be fixed under Gov. Gina Raimondo’s RhodeWorks plan.

See progress of the East Shore Expressway construction project on RIDOT’s website.

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