Providence Viaduct Replacement Project

This large multi-span bridge carries I-95 through the heart of Providence - a central artery for our state and our region. While our project is underway, Providence remains open for business. We are taking every measure to ensure exits and streets remain open and traffic impacts are minimized.

Not only are we replacing the bridge, we are making improvements aimed at increasing safety and reducing congestion. Motorists will find wider travel lanes and shoulders and additional lanes for traffic entering and exiting the highway.

Vital Stats:

Age: Built in 1964

Condition: The bridge has surpassed its design life and is showing signs of aggressive deterioration in the bridge deck and its supporting girders and piers.

Length & Location: 1,290 feet, between Exits 21 and 23 on I-95 in Providence

Traffic: With over 220,000 daily vehicle crossings, it's one of the most heavily trafficked stretches of interstate on the East Coast.

Cost: The cost for the current contract to replace the southbound bridge is $66.8 million. The estimated cost for the northbound bridge and related work is $126 million.

Current Activities: Initial tasks involved the driving of piles and sheeting into the ground. Upon these piles, we are building the footings for the piers that will support the new bridge. We're also working on a temporary off-ramp for Exit 22, which will provide access to Providence Place Mall, Route 6 West, and Downtown Providence (to Memorial Boulevard).

Project Timeline

Phase One of the project began in June 2013, focusing on the construction of a new bridge to the west of the Viaduct to carry I-95 South traffic. RIDOT expects construction on a replacement structure for northbound traffic to begin in 2017. See below for more details:

Date Milestone
June 2013 Construction begins on a new bridge to the west of the existing two bridges of the Providence Viaduct.
Fall 2014 Temporary ramp opens at Exit 22 (access to Providence Place Mall, Route 6 West, and Downtown).
Fall 2015 Permanent, new ramp at Exit 22 opens.
Fall 2016 Open new Viaduct for I-95 southbound traffic; open new Atwells Avenue off-ramp (Exit 21).
January 2017 Start construction of a new bridge for I-95 North.
January 2017 Shift I-95 North traffic to old I-95 South bridge; begin demolition of old I-95 North bridge.
Fall 2021 Shift I-95 North traffic to new Viaduct for I-95 North; demolish old I-95 South Bridge. Changes expected for on-ramps immediately north and south of the Viaduct.
Fall 2021 Shift I-95 North traffic to new Viaduct for I-95 North; demolish old I-95 South Bridge. Changes expected for on-ramps immediately north and south of the Viaduct.

Exit 22 is on the Move

We have opened a temporary off-ramp for I-95 South's Exit 22. The location of this ramp has moved north, meaning you'll encounter the off-ramp sooner than you used to.

Viaduct: Before & After

Images courtesy of Pineapple Studios

A New Northbound

When construction shifts to the I-95 Northbound half of the Viaduct, we'll start work on addressing one of the worst bottlenecks in Rhode Island.

Read More

At all times of the day, especially during rush hour, traffic slows down on the Viaduct as cars try to merge right for the State Offices off-ramp (Exit 23) amidst a steady stream of traffic coming onto the highway from Downtown Providence and Route 6. Here's how we're going to fix it:

  • Relocate the State Offices exit to before the Viaduct
  • Widen I-95 North
  • Build a service road so on and off-ramp traffic can merge without affecting highway traffic
  • Make a dedicated off-ramp for Route 146 at Exit 23
  • Rebuild the State Offices ramp to meet Orms Street directly, eliminating the looping ramp underneath Orms Street