Bridge rehabilitation along Route 138 within the center median area behind barrier may require temporary lane shifts on Third Street and JT Connell Highway.
Temporary lane shifts possible for construction on Third St. and JT Connell Hwy., and shoulder closures along Farewell St. and America’s Cup Ave., Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Although no additional lane closures are expected, crews will also excavate, backfill, and do drainage and conduit work along North Halsey Street adjacent to the Newport DPW yard, Columbus Way, Garfield Street, America’s Cup Avenue and Farewell Street, and grade and clear for the shared use path at the Newport Secondary.
In the 1960s the Pell Bridge and Interchange were completed, however the Route 138 northbound approach was never completed, which would have connected Newport to Route 24 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Then between 2001 through 2008, the Rhode Island Office of Statewide Planning identified the Aquidneck Island Travel Corridor as a major travel corridor of statewide significance. Long-range goals were established to the year 2020 including:
Protecting the open space and scenic vistas of ocean and agricultural lands by confining mixed-use development to designated growth centers.
Providing transportation alternatives and network connections including expanded ferry service, increased bus schedules, improved bicycle and pedestrian circulation, and Park & Rides that provide a safer network for all modes of transportation.
The Project was reactivated with the Aquidneck Island Transportation Study (AITS) in 2009 and then again in 2017 with the City of Newport’s economic plan to create an “Innovation District”.
Traffic volumes on the Aquidneck Island bridges and roadways have increased significantly over the past 40 years. This traffic increase is attributable to many factors, including more households spread among different locations on the Island, increasing levels of automobile ownership, changing commuting patterns, and increased tourism. Safety continues to be a major concern of the Island community. These concerns were elevated following several pedestrian fatalities along Island roadways caused in part by the increasing difficulty in safely crossing major streets.
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