As part of the $74 million Pell Bridge Ramps project, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will temporarily close Admiral Kalbfus Road at the old Route 138 overpass, located between the Newport roundabout and the former Newport Grand, during the weekend of April 28-30. The closure, starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 28 and lasting through Sunday evening, April 30, will allow RIDOT to demolish the old overpass, which was taken out of service late last year. Since then, traffic has been using the new roadways RIDOT built under this project.
RIDOT will post signs for recommended detour routes for Admiral Kalbfus Road eastbound and westbound traffic. Motorists should plan additional time for travel or consider alternate routes during the closure. The recommend routes are as follows:
Admiral Kalbfus Eastbound (coming from the Navy base, RK Center or other points further north on JT Connell Highway): Follow JT Connell Highway southbound, straight through the new traffic signal at the JT Connell Connector Road. Turn left onto Van Zandt Avenue, turn left again onto Malbone Road and follow it to return to Admiral Kalbfus Road.
Admiral Kalbfus Westbound (coming from West Main Road or Malbone Road): Take a left onto the new Halsey Boulevard, turn right onto the JT Connell Connector Road and turn right again at the new traffic signal on JT Connell Highway toward the roundabout.
There will be no changes for traffic to and from the Pell Bridge or Downtown Newport.
RIDOT chose the timeframe for the closure to complete this step of the project before the busy summer tourism season. Once the old overpass has been removed, RIDOT can continue making other improvements during the summer months with minimal impact to traffic.
The weekend closure is the latest in a series of construction initiatives RIDOT is pursuing this spring. The next change will occur by Memorial Day, when RIDOT plans to realign the intersection of Farewell Street and America’s Cup Avenue to eliminate the sharp curve at the start of America’s Cup Avenue which will improve safety and traffic circulation. In addition, the Department plans to activate a new traffic signal with pedestrian crossing features at the intersection.
The Pell Bridge Ramps Phase 2 project is rebuilding the road network connecting to the Pell Bridge to make travel into Newport easy and safe. It includes a new efficient ramp system that will reduce congestion, especially the backup of vehicles on the bridge from the Downtown Newport exit, and improve the connection between Newport’s North End and the downtown area. With a smaller footprint, the new design also will spur economic development as it frees up approximately 25 acres of land. It will be finished by the end of 2024.
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