Interstate 95 in Rhode Island
I-95 highlighted in red
|Maintained by RIDOT|
|Length||43.3 mi (69.7 km)|
|South end||I-95 in North Stonington, CT|
|North end||I‑95 in Attleboro, MA|
|Counties||Washington, Kent, Providence|
Interstate 95 (I-95) is the main north–south Interstate Highway on the east coast of the United States, running generally southwest-northeast through the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It runs from the border with Connecticut near Westerly, through Warwick and Providence, and to the Massachusetts state line in Pawtucket. It has two auxiliary routes, both of which enter Massachusetts—I-195: a spur from Providence east to Cape Cod, and I-295, a western bypass of the Providence-Pawtucket area.
South of Warwick, I-95 does not follow U.S. Route 1 (US 1), which it generally replaced in New England. It instead takes a shorter inland route, parallel to Route 3. Route 3 was designated Route 1A in 1922, a New England Interstate Route, but it has never been a U.S. Route.
Southern Rhode Island
The diagonal corridor of Route 3 was a well-traveled shortcut to the older U.S. Route 1 even before any part of Interstate 95 was built. In the 1930s, a further cutoff was built in southeastern Connecticut and southwestern Rhode Island, joining Old Mystic, Connecticut to Route 3 in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. The existing Route 84 in Connecticut was rerouted to use the new road (now Route 184), and the short piece in Rhode Island was also numbered Route 84. (This alignment had been the Hopkinton and Richmond Turnpike - better known as the New London Turnpike - but had fallen into disrepair.) The right of way of New London turnpike goes though the Big river management area (as a dirt road), crosses division road as a four-way intersection with the North side of the turnpike paved, has an interchange with Interstate 95 (exit 7), continues for 1.85 miles before connecting with Route 3 in West Warwick for a ¼ mile. New London Turnpike turns into New London Ave and continues straight for 2¼ miles before connecting with Providence street (RI-33). It follows Providence Street until it hits the Meshanticut Interchange.
The first section of what is now I-95 was planned as an upgrade and relocation of Route 84 and Route 3 from the state line north of Westerly to existing Route 3 of Richmond. The short Route 84 was widened to a four-lane divided road with one intersection at Gray Lane. Instead of merging with Route 3, it was modified to continue northeast, passing under Route 3 with a folded diamond interchange (modern day exit 1). The rest of the new road was designated Route 3 once it was completed on December 12, 1955. It was not built to freeway standards, only having interchanges at Route 3 in Hopkinton and Route 138 in Richmond (a cloverleaf) (modern day exit 3), as well as a bridge over the Wood River and Mechanic Street.
A section of freeway (known as the Kent County Freeway) opened in July 1958, running from Route 3 at Kitts Corner northeast across the Big River (modern day exit 6) and east across Route 3 to Route 2 on the West Warwick-Warwick line (modern day exit 8). Its west end was a simple intersection with old Route 3, in which only northbound traffic could continue on the old road — southbound traffic had to enter the new freeway east of the Big River. The only two interchanges were with Route 3 east of the Big River (a diamond interchange) and with Route 2 at its east end (a four-ramp interchange providing half the ramps of a cloverleaf).
The Interstate 95 designation was approved on June 27, 1958. The section in southern Rhode Island was temporarily designated Route 95 until it could be upgraded to a freeway. This route ran from the Connecticut state line along what had been Route 84, continuing along the Relocated Route 3 to north of Richmond, along normal Route 3 to Kitts Corner, and along the new freeway east to Route 2. As much as possible, Route 3 was moved back to the old road; it only used the new freeway by necessity in the area near Kitts Corner and over the Big River. Connecticut also renumbered their section of Route 84 to Route 95 at that time.
Interstate 95 in Connecticut was finished December 12, 1964 to the Rhode Island state line, where it connected to the older Route 95 divided highway. The old road from the border to Gray Lane was combined with the frontage road built when Route 84 was upgraded to form what is now known as Extension 184. The portion from the Connecticut state line to Route 3 north of Richmond was upgraded to a freeway with construction ending May 1968. To the north, that freeway was connected with the Kent County Freeway by a new section, opened November 22, 1969 as the last section of I-95 in Rhode Island. The connection to Route 3 at Kitts Corner was removed, and Route 3 was moved back to the old road over the Big River. Route 95 was renumbered Interstate 95, as the whole road was now a freeway.
The construction of I-95 split the city of Providence in two, cutting off the city's western neighborhoods from downtown.
Among the areas affected was Cathedral Square, which had been a bustling center of civic life before World War II. Interstate 95, constructed adjacent to Cathedral Square, changed the area's character forever. A 1972 redesign by I.M. Pei attempted to revitalize the Square but failed.
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The people of Pawtucket feared the construction of I-95 as early as 1949. Editions of the Pawtucket Times and The Providence Journal in 1949 recall how neighbors in the Woodlawn section of Pawtucket feared the construction of the highway. According to Rhode Island Department of Transportation blueprints, the highway was originally planned for the west side of Pawtucket, avoiding the Pawtucket River. The highway was originally designed to be constructed east of the New York–New Haven railroad tracks and create underpasses on Mineral Spring Avenue, Broad Street, and Dexter Street. The highway was meant to travel east of the Pawtucket–Central Falls train station and into South Attleboro, Massachusetts.
The Pawtucket River Bridge is part of Interstate 95 and has been replaced.
|Washington||Hopkinton||0.0||0.0||–||I-95 south – New London, New Haven, New York City||Continuation into Connecticut|
|0.7||1.1||1||Route 3 – Hopkinton, Westerly|
|4.5||7.2||2||Hope Valley, Alton||Via Woodville Alton Road|
|Richmond||6.4||10.3||Rest Area and welcome center - Northbound (closed September 2011, reopened September 2016)|
|3||Route 138 – South Kingstown, Wyoming, Hope Valley||Signed as exits 3A (east) and 3B (west)|
|9.0||14.5||4||Route 3 to Route 165 – Arcadia, Exeter||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|10.7||17.2||Parking area and weigh station|
|5||Route 102 – North Kingstown, West Greenwich, Foster, Exeter, North Kingstown||Signed as exits 5A (south) and 5B (north)|
|6||Route 3 – Coventry, West Greenwich|
|6A||Hopkins Hill Road|
|21.4||34.4||7||Coventry, West Warwick||Access via New London Turnpike|
|8||Route 2 to Route 4 – East Greenwich, West Warwick||Signed as exits 8A (north) and 8B (south). Northbound exit only|
|24.8||39.9||9||Route 4 south – North Kingstown||Southbound exit only; northern terminus of Route 4|
|10||Route 117 – West Warwick, Warwick||Signed as exits 10A (east) and 10B (west) southbound|
|27.6||44.4||11||I‑295 north – Woonsocket||Southbound exit is via exit 12B; southern terminus of I-295|
|28.0||45.1||12||Route 113 east to Route 5 – Warwick||Signed as exit 12A southbound|
|28.5||45.9||Route 113 west / I‑295 north to Route 2 – West Warwick||Signed as exit 12B southbound|
|13||US 1 – T.F. Green Airport||Access via Airport Connector Road|
|14A||Route 37 east to US 1 – Warwick||Exits 4A-B on Route 37|
|14B||Route 37 west to Route 2 – Cranston|
|15||Jefferson Boulevard||Northbound exit ramp is shared with exit 14B|
|Providence||Cranston||33.2||53.4||16||Route 10 west to Route 2 (Reservoir Avenue) – Cranston||Exits 2A-B on Route 10|
|33.8||54.4||Route 10 east to Route 12 (Park Avenue)||No northbound exit|
|Providence||34.2||55.0||17||US 1 (Elmwood Avenue)||Southbound exit only; other movements via Route 10|
|18||Thurbers Avenue to US 1A|
|35.7||57.5||19||I‑195 east / US 6 east – East Providence, Cape Cod||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|36.1||58.1||Eddy Street||Southbound exit only|
|36.4||58.6||20||Point Street||No southbound exit|
|36.6||58.9||I‑195 east / US 6 east – East Providence, Cape Cod||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 6;|
southbound exit and northbound entrance
|37.0||59.5||21||Broadway||Northbound exit only|
|21||Atwells Avenue||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|22A||Memorial Boulevard – Downtown Providence|
|22B||US 6 west / Route 10 south – Hartford, CT||Northern terminus of concurrency with US 6|
|38.0||61.2||23||Route 146 north to US 44 – Woonsocket, State Offices||Northbound exit and southbound entrance;|
southern terminus of Route 146
|38.5||62.0||Charles Street (Route 246) to Route 146 north||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|25||Route 126 (Smithfield Avenue) / US 1 (North Main Street)||Signed as exits 25A (US 1) and 25B (Route 126) northbound|
|Pawtucket||40.6||65.3||26||Route 122 (Lonsdale Avenue / Main Street)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|27||US 1 south / Route 15 – Pawtucket, North Providence||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 1|
|28||Route 114 (School Street)||No southbound exit|
|29||NB: US 1 north (Broadway) / Cottage Street – Downtown|
SB: US 1 north / Route 15 – North Providence, Pawtucket
|Northern terminus of concurrency with US 1|
|30||East Street / Roosevelt Avenue – Central Falls|
|43.3||69.7||–||I‑95 north – Boston||Continuation into Massachusetts|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Google (February 5, 2016). "Interstate 95" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "kurumi: Connecticut Route 184". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "The Roads of Metro Boston - north–south Expressway". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- RIGIS Digital Aerial Photography Archived 2006-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
- Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Interstate Highway Opening Dates
- Official Route Numbering for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, as adopted by the American Association of State Highway Officials, approved June 27, 1958
- 1961 Gousha Massachusetts-Connecticut-Rhode Island map
- "kurumi: Connecticut Interstate 95". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Kasakove, Sophie (7 September 2016). "In Downtown Providence, A Forgotten Piece Of Architectural History". Rhode Island Public Radio. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- 2014 Interstate Strip Map (PDF) (Map). Rhode Island Department of Transportation. March 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Interstate 95 in Rhode Island.|
- Wolke, Richard. "Building Route 95 – Part 1". Hopkinton Historical Association. Hopkinton Historical Association. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- Prescott, Richard G. "Building Route 95 Part II". Hopkinton Historical Association. Hopkinton Historical Association. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
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