U.S. Route 6 in Rhode Island

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 6 in Rhode Island. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 6.
Route 195 (Rhode Island) redirects here. For the route currently numbered 195, see Interstate 195 (Rhode Island).

U.S. Route 6 marker

U.S. Route 6
Route information
Maintained by RIDOT
Length: 26.5 mi[1] (42.6 km)
Existed: 1926 – present
Major junctions
West end: US 6 in Killingly, CT
  Route 102 in Scituate
I‑295 in Johnston
I‑95 in Providence
East end: US 6 in Seekonk, MA
Highway system

Rhode Island Routes


Route 5 US 6.svg US 6A
I‑195 Rhode Island 195.svg Route 214

U.S. Route 6 is a major east–west road in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Nationally, the route continues west to Bishop, California and east to Provincetown, Massachusetts. In western Rhode Island, it forms part of one of several routes between Hartford, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island, and was planned to be replaced by Interstate 84. The part of I-84 that was built, from Interstate 295 to Olneyville, is now part of US 6. At Olneyville, US 6 joins Route 10 and heads east towards downtown Providence, where it turns south on Interstate 95 and east on Interstate 195. US 6 splits from I-195 in East Providence, crossing into Massachusetts on Warren Avenue. The whole route of US 6 is a state highway maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.[2]

Route description[edit]

US 6 crosses from Killingly, Connecticut into Foster, Rhode Island just east of the end of the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike, formerly known as the Connecticut Turnpike (State Road 695). That part of US 6 was once the Foster and Scituate Turnpike, now called the Danielson Pike. It crosses Route 94 in Foster before crossing into Scituate.

Signage at the eastbound business/bypass split marks the bypass as both BY-PASS (first photo) and regular (second photo) US 6. The business route is marked as simply BUSINESS ROUTE with no US 6 shield.

By-pass plate.svg
US 6.svg

Soon after entering Scituate, US 6 splits into bypass and business alignments. The business alignment runs further south along the old turnpike, and is mostly signed as US 6 without a banner. The bypass is signed mostly as BY-PASS US 6 on sign assemblies but as bannerless US 6 on green guide signs. Most maps and information takes US 6 along the bypass.

The bridge carrying Gleaner Chapel Road over the bypass

The business and bypass cross Route 102 soon after splitting. The western half of the bypass is a two-lane limited access road, with one grade separation — under Gleaner Chapel Road — and one intersection — at Route 102. This newer section ends as it merges with Route 101, once the Rhode Island and Connecticut Turnpike, and now called Hartford Pike. The two parallel alignments cross the Scituate Reservoir and Route 116 before they merge near the east edge of Scituate. This merge was the east end of the Foster and Scituate Turnpike, and was the east end of Route 101 until the early 2000s (when it was truncated to the merge with US 6 Bypass). (The Rhode Island and Connecticut Turnpike continued to the Olneyville section of Providence, where it is known as Hartford Avenue.)

Soon after the bypass and business routes merge, US 6 enters Johnston. Several miles later it intersects with Interstate 295. From I-295 to Olneyville, the old road — Hartford Avenue — is now U.S. Route 6A, as US 6 uses the Dennis J. Roberts Expressway. To get there, it turns south on the I-295 collector/distributor roads to the west end of that freeway. The south interchange [1] of US 6 and I-295 has numerous ramp stubs once intended for a western continuation of the Roberts Expressway as Interstate 84.

The six-lane Roberts Expressway has interchanges with Route 5, U.S. Route 6A, Route 128, and US 6A again on its way to Olneyville. It crosses from Johnston into Providence just west of the bridge over Route 128. At the second US 6A interchange, the older Olneyville Bypass begins, and the freeway reduces to four lanes. Heading around Olneyville to the south and east, US 6 has partial interchanges with Route 14, Route 10 and Broadway before merging with Route 10 towards downtown Providence on the Route 6-10 Connector. Along the Connector is an interchange with Dean Street before it (and Route 10) ends at Interstate 95, with ramps to Memorial Boulevard for downtown access. US 6 turns south there with I-95. US 6 soon leaves I-95 for Interstate 195, which takes it east across the south side of downtown. U.S. Route 1A and U.S. Route 44 join after it crosses the Providence River, and the four routes head east across the Washington Bridge over the Seekonk River.

Many signs, even recently-installed ones, along old US 6 (now mostly Route 103) in East Providence still mark it as US 6.

Upon crossing the Washington Bridge, US 6 enters East Providence. US 44 leaves onto Taunton Avenue at the east end of the bridge, and Route 103 - the old alignment of US 6 - begins on Warren Avenue. (Some signs still mark Warren Avenue as US 6, but signs in both directions on US 6 keep it on I-195.) After interchanges with Broadway and Pawtucket Avenue — the latter carrying Route 114 in both directions and U.S. Route 1A to the north — US 6 splits from I-195 at the interchange with the East Shore Expressway (signed for Route 114 south). It takes the ramps towards Warren Avenue, which it uses most of the way to the state line before heading southeast on Highland Avenue to cross into Seekonk, Massachusetts.

History[edit]

New England 3.svg

In Rhode Island, US 6 was originally Route 3 of the New England Interstate Routes, designated in 1922. The part of Route 3 in Rhode Island ran roughly how US 6 does now; the main differences were in Scituate (where it used US 6 Business) and from Johnston east through Providence and East Providence (where it used US 6A, Broadway, Washington Street, Waterman Street, the old Red Bridge and Waterman Avenue, and then turned south on Pawtucket Avenue and east along current Route 103 to reach Massachusetts).[3]

By the time Route 3 became U.S. Route 6 in late 1926, it had been moved to use Waterman Avenue through East Providence to Massachusetts.[4] (In Massachusetts, US 6 turned south on present Route 114A to reach its current alignment.) Waterman Street in Providence had become one-way eastbound by 1930; westbound US 6 came off the Red Bridge and turned north on River Street, west on South Angell Street and Angell Street, and south on Benefit Street.[5][6]

At some point, possibly by 1929, US 6 had moved from the Red Bridge to the Washington Bridge. In downtown Providence, it turned south on Main Street and east on Fox Point Boulevard (now Interstate 195) to reach the bridge, taking Taunton Avenue (now U.S. Route 44) into Massachusetts (where it turned south on present Route 114A).[7]

US 6 was realigned to bypass downtown to the south via the Point Street Bridge by 1942. It came along Westminster Street from Olneyville, turning southeast on Winter Street (now Fricker Street) and Lockwood Street. A short one-way pair on Lockwood Street and Friendship Street (eastbound) and Pine Street and Summer Street (westbound) led to Point Street and over the bridge of the same name to the west end of Fox Point Boulevard. Upon coming off the Washington Bridge, instead of heading northeast on Taunton Avenue, it had been moved to the more direct Warren Avenue by 1942.[6]

When the Olneyville Bypass opened in 1953, US 6 was rerouted to use it. Eastbound US 6 simply exited the bypass onto Westminster Street to rejoin its old route, but westbound US 6 used a totally different route. It turned northwest on Main Street instead of crossing the Point Street Bridge, and turned west at Waterman Street to reach Promenade Street, then passing through the large rotary north of Union Station onto Kinsley Avenue. (Kinsley Avenue was later one-way eastbound in that area, so US 6 west continued on Promenade Street from the rotary, crossing to Kinsley Avenue somewhere to the west.[8][9]

When the Broad Freeway - the section of Interstate 195 south of downtown — opened in 1958, it replaced part of eastbound US 6. Instead of turning east on Point Street, US 6 instead continued northeast on Friendship Street to reach the freeway. In 1963 and 1964, Interstate 95 was opened at the west end of I-195; the eastbound entrance from Friendship was slightly moved but otherwise remained the same. To the east of the Washington Bridge, the East Providence Expressway - another section of I-195 - opened in 1959. Maps (and even some current signage) disagree about whether US 6 moved to the new bypass at that point or remained on Warren Avenue.[8][9]

To the west of the Providence area, the three-lane bypass (1 lane eastbound, 2 westbound) of Scituate opened ca. 1966.[10] This road is signed with US 6 Bypass signs, while the old route is still signed as US 6.

US 6 Bypass sign on the Roberts Expressway, now US 6

The Dennis J. Roberts Expressway opened in 1971, providing a bypass of US 6 from Interstate 295 in Johnston east to Olneyville. However, US 6 was not moved to it, as it was part of the planned Interstate 84 (approved in 1968). It was assigned the temporary designation of Route 195, as the planned I-84 would continue east from Olneyville to the west end of Interstate 195. The freeway was also signed as US 6 Bypass. However, I-84 was never completed, and in 1991 US 6 was moved to the freeway, with the old route redesignated U.S. Route 6A.[11]

RI 195 special.svg

Route 195 was marked with a shield resembling the Interstate Highway shield. This shield, printed on a standard rectangular sign, replaced the word "Interstate" with "Rhode Island", and had black letters and numerals on white background, with a black outline in the shape of the Interstate shield, and a black line separating the state name from the numerals. On green guide signs, the "Rhode Island" and horizontal line were eliminated.[citation needed]

In downtown Providence, US 6 was moved in 1988 with the opening of the Route 6-10 Connector between Olneyville and downtown. US 6 was moved off the long one-way pair and onto the Connector, turning south on Interstate 95 and east on Interstate 195. With the construction of the Iway, traffic will be rerouted to the south.

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Providence County.

Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Foster 0.0 0.0 US 6 west (Providence Pike) – Hartford Continuation into Connecticut
3.3 5.3 Route 94 (Mount Hygeia Road / Foster Center Road)
Scituate 6.5 10.5
US 6 Bus. east (Danielson Pike)
Western terminus of US 6 Bus.; US 6 becomes signed as US 6 Byp. on some sign assemblies
6.7 10.8 Route 102 (Chopmist Hill Road)
9.9 15.9 Route 101 west (Hartford Pike) Eastern terminus of Route 101
11.4 18.3 Route 116 (West Greenville Road)
11.9 19.2
US 6 Bus. west (Danielson Pike)
Eastern terminus of US 6 Bus.
Johnston 14.9 24.0 I‑295 north / US 6A east (Hartford Avenue) – Woonsocket, Johnston West end of I-295 concurrency, western terminus of US 6A, Exit 6C on I-295
'West end of freeway section
15.3 24.6 I‑295 south – Warwick East end of I-295 concurrency; exit 6A on I-295
16.4 26.4 Route 5 (Atwood Ave) – Johnston
17.6 28.3 US 6A (Hartford Avenue) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
17.9 28.8 Route 128 (Killingly Street)
Providence 19.1 30.7 US 6A west (Hartford Avenue) Eastern terminus of US 6A
19.7 31.7 Route 14 west (Plainfield Street) Eastern terminus of Route 14; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
19.7 31.7 Route 10 south – Cranston West end of Route 10 concurrency; no access from Route 10 north to US 6 west
20.0 32.2 Broadway – Olneyville Square Eastbound exit only
20.2 32.5 Tobey Street / Harris Avenue Westbound entrance only
20.9 33.6 22C Dean Street / Atwells Avenue – Providence Place Westbound exit signed from I-95 north
21.2 34.1 22A Memorial Boulevard – Downtown Providence Westbound exit signed from I-95 north
21.3 34.3 22B I‑95 north – Boston East end of Route 10 concurrency; west end of I-95 concurrency; northern terminus of Route 10
21.3 34.3 21 US 1 (Broadway) Westbound exit only, US 1 unsigned at interchange
21.3 34.3 20
19
I‑95 south / I‑195 – New York City, East Providence, Cape Cod East end of I-95 concurrency; west end of I-195 concurrency
22.7 36.5 20 Point Street No eastbound exit
22.8 36.7 1B Eddy Street To Rhode Island Hospital; westbound exit only
Providence River Providence River Bridge
Providence 23.1 37.2 2 Gano Street / India Street Eastbound exit only
23.3 37.5 2 US 44 west (South Main Street) / US 1A south (Point Street / Wickenden Street) West end of US 44/US 1A concurrency; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
23.7 38.1 3 Gano Street – India Point, Fox Point Westbound exit and entrance
Seekonk River Washington Bridge
East Providence 23.9 38.5 4 US 44 east (Taunton Avenue) / Veterans Memorial Parkway – Riverside East end of US 44 concurrency; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
24.0 38.6 5 Route 103 east (Warren Avenue) Western terminus of Route 103; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
24.5 39.4 6 Broadway / Warren Avenue – East Providence Westbound access to US 44 and Route 103
25.4 40.9 7 Route 114 south – Barrington Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
25.5 41.0 8 I‑195 east – Fall River, MA, Cape Cod East end of I-195 concurrency; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
East end of freeway section
25.7 41.4 US 1A north (Warren Avenue) to Route 114 north (Pawtucket Avenue) East end of US 1A concurrency
26.5 42.6 US 6 east (Highland Avenue) – Cape Cod Continuation into Massachusetts
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mapquest driving directions
  2. ^ RIDOT Digital Maps
  3. ^ 1922 Rand McNally New England map
  4. ^ American Association of State Highway Officials, United States Numbered Highways, 1927 (despite mainly including only cities, it includes the line "Beginning at the Massachusetts-Rhode Island State line on Waterman Avenue, East Providence")
  5. ^ 1930 Gallup Providence map
  6. ^ a b 1942 RIDOT Providence map
  7. ^ 1929 Gousha New England map
  8. ^ a b 1961 Gousha Providence map
  9. ^ a b 1964 Rand McNally Providence map
  10. ^ National Bridge Inventory
  11. ^ The Roads of Metro Boston: Dennis J Roberts Expressway

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing


U.S. Route 6
Previous state:
Connecticut
Rhode Island Next state:
Massachusetts