Above: The eastbound lanes of the new Division Street bridge over Route 4 in August.
Could the Route 4–Route 95 connectors be next?
By Friday morning (9/2), the westbound lanes of the Division Street bridge spanning Route 4 will open, the Department of Transportation said Thursday. The eastbound lanes opened in August.
The $22.9 million project to replace the 55-year-old bridge got off to a slow start because of structural difficulties with the temporary bridge built to handle traffic while the old bridge was taken down and the new was erected. Those problems, discovered in September 2020, delayed the project about a year, with the temporary bridge finally opening to traffic in November 2021.
The plan is for the entire project to be completed by the end of the year, including the dismantling of the temporary bridge, installation of new signage and some additional paving, according to DOT. The project included installation of “Jellyfish” stormwater treatment technology to filter out debris like sediment, oils, and other pollutants.
While this project is coming to completion, there is the prospect of an even larger project on the horizon – to provide the missing connectors between Route 95 north and Route 4 south as well as Route 4 north to Route 95 south. Right now, motorists have get off those throughways and drive on Division Street and Route 2 for access, creating a bottleneck at the Division Street–Route 2 intersection. According to DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin III, the state applied for federal grant funding for that project last year, did not get the grant and applied again this year. The state should be hearing in near future if the grant application is successful this time.
Where the new ramps would go:
Past photos from the Division Street project:
The missing “cloverleaf” for Rt 95 from Rt 4 has been discussed by RIDOT for years. It was noted in the 2006 EG Traffic Study. At that time Edmund Parker, engineer for RIDOT, promised EG it would be done within a few years. In the meantime, more and more traffic passes through that Rts 2/4/95/Division Rd (all state owned roads) intersection on a daily basis. It has been noted that this intersection fails at peak rush hours. EG has been asking for improvements for a long time.
The sign posted by DOT at the top of the bridge states “ on time and on budget” unreal how long was the delay with the sagging bridge and we can’t even begin to imagine what the total cost was….same old RI but hey we’re use to it.