Governor McKee, State Police Lead Initiative to Enhance Safety Measures on Washington Bridge

In an effort to prioritize public safety and streamline traffic flow, Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island State Police spearheaded a collaborative effort involving key officials to promote safe travel practices ahead of the implementation of three lanes on the westbound side of the Washington Bridge.

Joined by Senior Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Almond, Rhode Island State Police (RISP) Superintendent Colonel Darnell Weaver, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Governor McKee emphasized the importance of reducing accidents on the bridge, particularly those stemming from distracted driving.

The Governor underscored the necessity for travelers to adhere to the reduced speed limit of 40 miles per hour, avoid lane-switching, and remain vigilant, urging against cell phone use while driving.

“Our goal is to keep Rhode Islanders safe and get them where they need to go with the least amount of delay possible,” stated Governor McKee. “We must all work together to reduce the number of accidents on the Washington Bridge, particularly those caused by distracted driving.”

Colonel Weaver highlighted the detrimental effects of distracted driving, emphasizing its role in increasing crash risks and compromising drivers’ ability to react swiftly and make sound judgments.

In conjunction with enhanced safety signage and public service announcements, RISP has augmented its presence on the bridge to combat distracted driving and mitigate accidents.

This proactive initiative follows the state’s efforts to expedite accident clearance on the bridge, reducing the duration from 30 to 21 minutes. The addition of a third lane on the westbound side aims to facilitate smoother traffic flow and alleviate congestion in surrounding areas.

The recent completion of the third lane on the eastbound side, certified by RIDOT in collaboration with traffic engineering experts and the Federal Highway Administration, signifies a significant milestone in enhancing the bridge’s capacity.

RIDOT will commence lane modifications on I-195 East, transitioning to three lanes on the Washington Bridge starting Friday, April 19, at 9 p.m., with completion slated for Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m. Truck access will be limited to the far-right lane, and signage will be installed to enforce this regulation.

Additionally, temporary lane reductions between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the initial two weeks of lane modification will accommodate repaving and restriping efforts to enhance bridge surface quality.

Travelers seeking real-time travel updates can access average travel times for various routes via, facilitating informed decision-making during their commute.




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