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Author Topic: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI  (Read 6567 times)

southshore720

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southshore720

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More details from the RIDOT website:
http://www.dot.ri.gov/Viaduct/index.asp
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doogie1303

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 05:56:37 PM »

Yeah I recently came across this project on the RIDOT website, frankly I'm not that impressed. One thing bothers me looking at the photo rendering of the new viaduct:

While some improvement is made in the Northbound direction of the Viaduct with the addition of a breakdown lane, no improvement was made in adding a breakdown lane for the southbound side.

I ask you, if you are going though all that effort to build a completely new viaduct, why on earth would you not at least incorporate breakdown lanes in both directions? I can understand the restrictions to the East as the Providence Place Mall is built right up against the old viaduct. But what is the restriction to the west that doesn't allow you to add that extra lane? Are they expecting people not to breakdown on the southbound side?

I'm not an AASHTO expert, but from what I found online the AASHTO standards for Interstate Highways appears to require a minimum outside paved shoulder width of 10 feet and inside shoulder width of 4 feet. So how is this new viaduct meeting AASHTO interstate highway standards, or is there some sort of exemption for bridges/viaducts?
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PHLBOS

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 09:39:32 AM »

So the replacement is actually 2-separated viaducts as opposed to one wide single.  Outside of that, I don't see any real other difference/changes.
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southshore720

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 02:13:00 PM »

It's a very basic replacement project to replace the aging span.  It would have been great if it had bells and whistles like the Pawtucket River bridge (multi-color bridge posts, collector-distributor roads), but it looks like we're going to get milquetoast out of this one...  It would've been a great opportunity to install a nice architectural bridge to compliment the "Renaissance City" of Providence.  But, of course, $$$ talks...and there is never enough $$$ for road projects in R.I.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 02:24:53 PM »

By improvements, I was referring to safety and/or functionality related ones (or even increased capacity); not cosmetic ones.
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southshore720

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 02:38:49 PM »

My opinion is if you're going to install a new span in a prominent U.S. city, you would want BOTH functionality/safety and cosmetic...similar to what they're doing with the Q Bridge (Pearl Harbor Bridge) in New Haven, CT and what they did with the Zakim Bridge on I-93 in Boston.
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Henry

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »

So the replacement is actually 2-separated viaducts as opposed to one wide single.  Outside of that, I don't see any real other difference/changes.
I'm thinking that this method is getting rarer as time goes by. While lots of double-bridge spans still exist, the number of them is decreasing, mostly due to widening projects that allow a single bridge to be constructed along the way. Unless the ROW is so large that the median is too wide for making new lanes, single-bridging is the way to go nowadays.
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froggie

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 06:07:54 PM »

Quote
I'm thinking that this method is getting rarer as time goes by. While lots of double-bridge spans still exist, the number of them is decreasing, mostly due to widening projects that allow a single bridge to be constructed along the way. Unless the ROW is so large that the median is too wide for making new lanes, single-bridging is the way to go nowadays.

The other way around, actually.  Using the new I-35W Minneapolis bridge and the I-90 Mississippi River bridges as examples, there is a preference to build two bridges instead of one.  There are two significant reasons for this.  First, with wider crossings (i.e. the I-35W bridge which is 5 lanes on each side), having two separate spans makes bridge inspections much easier to accomplish (this was a cited reason for building the I-35W bridge as two spans).  Secondly, in the event of an issue that closes one span, the other span remains available for traffic.
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doogie1303

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 09:58:46 PM »

My opinion is if you're going to install a new span in a prominent U.S. city, you would want BOTH functionality/safety and cosmetic...similar to what they're doing with the Q Bridge (Pearl Harbor Bridge) in New Haven, CT and what they did with the Zakim Bridge on I-93 in Boston.

Exactly, this new viaduct neither increases functionality/safety nor adds any visual improvement to the area. It's functionally obsolete, anyone who has been thru this section of Providence at rush hour knows that this viaduct is a choke point. Just before the viaduct from the north you have RI-146 dumping traffic onto I-95 south. While people from 146 are trying to merge onto 95, people from 95 are trying to get over to the exit for the 6/10 connector.

From the south you have an onramp dumping downtown traffic onto the viaduct and another onramp after the viaduct dumping 6/10 traffic onto 95 north, with people again trying to get over to for the 146 exit.

With no breakdown lane, if there's any sort of fender-bender or breakdown on the viaduct (which happens frequently), all hell breaks loose and traffic gets backed up quickly.

The new design does not seem to improve on any of these issues other than the new breakdown lane on the northbound viaduct. Just pray you don't breakdown going south.
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Henry

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 02:47:10 PM »

Quote
I'm thinking that this method is getting rarer as time goes by. While lots of double-bridge spans still exist, the number of them is decreasing, mostly due to widening projects that allow a single bridge to be constructed along the way. Unless the ROW is so large that the median is too wide for making new lanes, single-bridging is the way to go nowadays.

The other way around, actually.  Using the new I-35W Minneapolis bridge and the I-90 Mississippi River bridges as examples, there is a preference to build two bridges instead of one.  There are two significant reasons for this.  First, with wider crossings (i.e. the I-35W bridge which is 5 lanes on each side), having two separate spans makes bridge inspections much easier to accomplish (this was a cited reason for building the I-35W bridge as two spans).  Secondly, in the event of an issue that closes one span, the other span remains available for traffic.

Well, then I retract the last comment. I can see that building two separate spans has a major advantage after reading the above.
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southshore720

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 01:19:43 PM »

It's nice to see that they're making progress on the Providence Viaduct...a new temporary ramp was constructed for I-95 S for Exits 22C-B-A and a few of the beams were installed for the new SB bridge.  The off-ramp for Atwells Ave. (Exit 21) remains incredibly narrow as part of it was sliced off to make way for the new bridge.  Sloppily-constructed orange BGS' are currently in use for both exits, with a confusing "arrow-per-lane" diagram for Exit 22.
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spooky

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Re: Groundbreaking of I-95 Providence Viaduct Reconstruction in Providence, RI
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 02:22:41 PM »

Sloppily-constructed orange BGS' are currently in use for both exits, with a confusing "arrow-per-lane" diagram for Exit 22.

Sloppiness is a core requirement in RIDOT's signing standards.
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southshore720

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Resurrecting this thread for an update!  The Northbound I-95 viaduct is FINALLY going to be redone after years upon years of delays!
https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/providence/ri-breaks-ground-on-project-to-replace-worn-down-providence-viaduct/
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