Preparatory work has now started on the Providence Viaduct replacement project in Rhode Island in the US. Building the replacement for the 400m structure is expected to cost US$265 million.
The existing link carries the busy I-95 route over the Woonsaquatucket River and in recent years has been carrying around 220,000 vehicles/day, a significant increase over the 60,000 vehicles/day it was originally designed for. This new project is to replace the northbound link, with construction work on the southbound link having been completed in 2016.
The full construction operation will commence in the second quarter of 2021, with completion expected by the third quarter of 2025. The project is being managed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT). According to RIDOT, the project is now a priority as the existing link is one of the busiest highway bridges on the East Coast of the US and is struggling to cope with the traffic volume it carries.
The majority of the funding for the project, $200 million, will be from a state loan with a US Federal grant of $60 million topping up the finance package required. In addition to the main bridge section being replaced, the project will include improvements to a further 11 bridges and a new ramp and collector lane system to upgrade the links with the 6/10 Connector, Route 146, and the State Offices exit.