Open Thread: The I-Way & Rhode Island Traffic
Can you name the highway project that fits this description…
It would provide urgently needed relief for I-95 and I-195 within the core of this urban area. It also will permit long-distance travelers between New York and Connecticut, and the Fall River-New Bedford metropolitan area and Cape Cod, to bypass this congested urban core.If you guessed the I-way, you’d be wrong!
The description comes from a 1960s-era proposal for an interstate 895, which along with 295 would have made a complete interstate loop around Providence. 895 would have started at the 95/295 interchange in Attleboro (the reason why the ramps between 295 and 95 seem so overbuilt is that they were constructed with 895 in mind), headed southeast through Massachusetts, crossed 195 near the East Providence/Seekonk line, approximately followed the unnumbered connector between 195 and 114 in East Providence and then 114 itself, turned west through Barrington, crossed an Upper Narragansett Bay Bridge that was never built, plowed through several Warwick neighborhoods, hooked up with route 37 in Warwick, and rejoined 295 in Cranston.
The details of this plan, and of many other Eastern New England roads, built and unbuilt, can be found on Steve Anderson’s comprehensive Boston Roads website.
895, of course, was never built. And as is typical of government, even though they knew early on they had a problem, it took them thirty years to come up with an alternate solution.
The state department of transportation is saying that the congestion problems created by the new traffic patterns associated with the I-way will be relieved when the project is complete and all of the new routes are open. Do you buy that answer? Either way, consider this an open thread on the continuing traffic situation either being remedied or exacerbated by the new construction.