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Travel Advisory: Lane Shift Planned for Route 5 at Pontiac Bridge in Warwick on February 1

Starting on Monday, February 1, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will shift travel lanes on Route 5 (Greenwich Avenue) near Knight Street in Warwick for reconstruction of the Pontiac Bridge over the Pawtuxet River. The Department also will reduce travel lanes from two lanes to one for both directions of Route 5 at the bridge.

Traffic will be shifted onto the northbound lanes that carry traffic on Route 5 toward Warwick Mall, which allows RIDOT to begin demolition and replacement of the southbound side of the bridge. This change will be in place for approximately eight months, and RIDOT will reopen the bridge to two lanes in each direction prior to the holiday shopping season. Work on the other side of the bridge is not scheduled to begin until February 2022.

RIDOT has conducted several lane closures since construction began on this project in August of 2020, with only one of the travel lanes open in one direction. When that occurred, the Department observed little to no delay for travelers on the bridge. Motorists are advised to reduce their speed, drive carefully through the work zone, and be aware of pedestrians.

In addition to rehabilitating the Pontiac Bridge, this $19.9 million project will address the Route 5 corridor (Lambert Lind Highway/Greenwich Avenue) from Mayfield Avenue in Cranston to the I-95 overpass in Warwick. Work includes new sidewalks, curbs, resurfacing, minor road reconstruction, new signals, and reconfiguration of the Knight Street intersection. The Pontiac Bridge rehabilitation originally was scheduled to happen a few years after the road work but RIDOT chose to combine the projects to minimize the impact to drivers and take advantage of savings associated with having a single contractor instead of two.

Route 5 carries 21,000 vehicles per day. The project will be complete in summer 2023. All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.

The replacement of the Pontiac Bridge and improvements to Route 5 were made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at