The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will begin a highway renumbering program for its Interstate and other limited-access highways on November 27th, starting with the entire I-295 corridor from Warwick to Cumberland, at the Massachusetts border.
The new exit numbers will be keyed to mile markers – a system used throughout the country for many years that the traveling public has now come to expect. Rhode Island and some of its neighboring New England states are among the last to change to this method of numbering its highways, as required by the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. The highway exit numbers traditionally were assigned sequentially.
“While we endeavor to bring our roads and bridges into a state of good repair through the RhodeWorks program, we’re also addressing outstanding issues that were never resolved,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “This project will bring us in line with the rest of the country and provides more information to travelers about their location and distance to their destinations.”
A mile-marker exit number system lets drivers know how far they need to travel to reach their desired off-ramp. It also allows for easier expansion for future interchanges since the entire highway would not have to be renumbered to accommodate a new exit number.
RIDOT will be reaching out to communities, businesses and organizations along the I-295 corridor to notify them of the change. The Department also will be contacting electronic mapping and GPS companies to inform them of the new exit numbers.
RIDOT has created a new web page for this project, which includes an interactive map showing the new and old exit numbers for I-295. Learn more at www.ridot.net/ExitNumbers.
When RIDOT installs the new exit number signs, it will install temporary signs indicating the old exit number and will leave them for an extended period of time. The same approach has been employed by DOTs elsewhere in the country, and the sign design with both new and old numbers is currently in place along I-395 in Connecticut.
RIDOT also will be assigning exit numbers to Route 99, from Route 146 in Lincoln to Mendon Road in Cumberland, and on Route 146, from the I-95 interchange in Providence to the Massachusetts border in North Smithfield. These highways did not have any exit numbers previously.
RIDOT is developing schedules for the continued renumbering of highways to a mile-marker system. The project will include I-95 and I-195, as well as Routes 4, 10, 24, 37, 78, 403 and the Airport Connector.