The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will start its next highway renumbering project on Tuesday night, January 28, changing exit numbers on I-195 from the I-95 Interchange in Providence to the Massachusetts border in East Providence. The new exit numbers are part of a multi-year federal program to update highway numbering for Interstates and other limited-access highways.
The latest contract will also renumber Route 10, from Park Avenue in Cranston to Route 6 in Providence, and Route 37 from Post Road in Warwick to Natick Avenue in Cranston this winter. Starting this spring, RIDOT will renumber Route 24 from the Massachusetts line in Tiverton to West Main Road in Portsmouth. That highway will receive updated sign structures and foundations.
The new exit numbers are keyed to mile markers – a system used throughout the country for many years. Rhode Island and some neighboring New England states are among the last to change to this method which is 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.
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 install temporary signs indicating the old exit number and will leave them up for an extended period of time.
Throughout this program, RIDOT will upgrade faded and deteriorated guide signage along these routes as needed. In some instances, the Department is replacing large supporting structures to meet modern standards.
The final highway to be done, I-95 from the Connecticut border in Hopkinton to the Massachusetts border in Pawtucket, is tentatively scheduled to be renumbered in late 2020.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.