ROADS/BRIDGES: Rhode Island moves forward with new design for 6/10 Interchange

Dec. 15, 2016

Construction on the $400 million project is expected to begin by fall 2017

Rhode Island officials have announced a new road design for the 6/10 Interchange in Providence aimed at improving safety, traffic flow and makes land available for development.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo (D) ordered a fast-track reconstruction of the 6/10 Interchange, considered the state’s “most traveled expressway.” The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) worked with the city of Providence to create a new design.

The project is valued at $400 million and RIDOT expects to advertise the contract by the end of January and for construction to begin in the fall of 2017.

6/10 Interchange plan highlights include:

  • Direct Connection from Route 10 North onto Route 6 West: Road design includes the “missing move” connecting Route 10 North to Route 6 West—improving regional traffic flow and reducing traffic congestion in Olneyville.
  • New pedestrian/bicycle routes: 1.4 miles of new bike paths will be constructed in two places over Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor to connect pedestrians and bike riders traveling between Olneyville and the West End. Bike lanes will be added on an expanded Westminster Street overpass and on a newly rebuilt Tobey Street overpass. Broadway and Westminster Street will be redesigned using “complete streets” standards to make neighborhood roadways walkable, transit and bicycle-friendly.
  • Connects neighborhoods: To diminish the visual obstruction between Olneyville and the West End neighborhoods of Providence, approximately half the length of the Huntington Viaduct will be demolished. RIDOT will replace the Huntington Viaduct with surface roads that maintain adequate traffic conditions.
  • More greenspace and developable land: The Plainfield Street on-ramp will be eliminated to better connect city streets and open up more than four acres of additional real estate for development.
  • Eliminates Harris Avenue Crossing: New plan eliminates the challenging cross-over merge at the Harris Avenue on-ramp, letting Harris Avenue traffic access Route 10 South without merging through Route 6 West traffic. Access from Harris Avenue to Route 6 West will also be maintained.
  • Gateway aesthetics: Additional measures will be taken for landscaping, visual improvements and reduction of noise and neighborhood buffering. The new plan also includes a lighting arrangement similar to that used on the Sakonnet River Bridge. These improved aesthetics will create a signature entranceway to Providence from Route 6 and 10.