Interstate 95 in Rhode Island

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Interstate 95 marker

Interstate 95
I-95 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by RIDOT
Length43.3 mi[1] (69.7 km)
Major junctions
South end I-95 in North Stonington, CT
North end I‑95 in Attleboro, MA
CountiesWashington, Kent, Providence
Highway system

Rhode Island Routes

Route 94I-95E

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[edit]

Junction with Route 37 in Warwick
Rhode Island 84.svg

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.[2] (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.[3][4]

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).[4][5]

Rhode Island 95.svg

The Interstate 95 designation was approved on June 27, 1958.[6] 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.[7] Connecticut also renumbered their section of Route 84 to Route 95 at that time.[2]

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.[8] 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.[5] 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.[3] 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.

An interchange with the New London Turnpike was added to the Kent County Freeway by 1972.[4] In 1983, a new interchange with Hopkins Hill Road opened.[3]

Providence area[edit]

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.[9]

Pawtucket area[edit]

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.[citation needed]

The Pawtucket River Bridge is part of Interstate 95 and has been replaced.

Exit list[edit]

Exit numbers are sequential, but are to be replaced with mileage based numbers as per MUTCD 2009 standards by 2020.[10]

WashingtonHopkinton0.00.0 I-95 south – New London, New Haven, New York CityContinuation into Connecticut
0.71.11 Route 3 – Hopkinton, Westerly
4.57.22Hope Valley, AltonVia Woodville Alton Road
Richmond6.410.3Rest Area and welcome center - Northbound (closed September 2011, reopened September 2016)
3 Route 138 – South Kingstown, Wyoming, Hope ValleySigned as exits 3A (east) and 3B (west)
9.014.54 Route 3 to Route 165 – Arcadia, ExeterNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
10.717.2Parking area and weigh station
KentWest Greenwich13.6–
5 Route 102 – North Kingstown, West Greenwich, Foster, Exeter, North KingstownSigned as exits 5A (south) and 5B (north)
6 Route 3 – Coventry, West Greenwich
6AHopkins Hill Road
21.434.47Coventry, West WarwickAccess via New London Turnpike
8 Route 2 to Route 4 – East Greenwich, West WarwickSigned as exits 8A (north) and 8B (south). Northbound exit only
24.839.99 Route 4 south – North KingstownSouthbound exit only; northern terminus of Route 4
10 Route 117 – West Warwick, WarwickSigned as exits 10A (east) and 10B (west) southbound
27.644.411 I-295 north – WoonsocketSouthbound exit is via exit 12B; southern terminus of I-295
28.045.112 Route 113 east to Route 5 – WarwickSigned as exit 12A southbound
28.545.9 Route 113 west / I-295 north to Route 2 – West WarwickSigned as exit 12B southbound
13 US 1 – T.F. Green AirportAccess via Airport Connector Road
14A Route 37 east to US 1 – WarwickExits 4A-B on Route 37
14B Route 37 west to Route 2 – Cranston
15Jefferson BoulevardNorthbound exit ramp is shared with exit 14B
ProvidenceCranston33.253.416 Route 10 west to Route 2 (Reservoir Avenue) – CranstonExits 2A-B on Route 10
33.854.4 Route 10 east to Route 12 (Park Avenue)No northbound exit
Providence34.255.017 US 1 (Elmwood Avenue)Southbound exit only; other movements via Route 10
18US 1A.svg Thurbers Avenue to US 1A
35.757.519 I-195 east / US 6 east – East Providence, Cape CodNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
36.158.1Eddy StreetSouthbound exit only
36.458.620Point StreetNo southbound exit
36.658.9 I-195 east / US 6 east – East Providence, Cape CodSouthern terminus of concurrency with US 6;
southbound exit and northbound entrance
37.059.521BroadwayNorthbound exit only
21Atwells AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
22AMemorial Boulevard – Downtown Providence
22B US 6 west / Route 10 south – Hartford, CTNorthern terminus of concurrency with US 6
22CProvidence Place
38.061.223 Route 146 north to US 44 – Woonsocket, State OfficesNorthbound exit and southbound entrance;
southern terminus of Route 146
38.562.0Charles Street (Route 246) to Route 146 northSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
39.062.824Branch Avenue
25 Route 126 (Smithfield Avenue) / US 1 (North Main Street)Signed as exits 25A (US 1) and 25B (Route 126) northbound
Pawtucket40.665.326 Route 122 (Lonsdale Avenue / Main Street)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
27 US 1 south / Route 15 – Pawtucket, North ProvidenceSouthern terminus of concurrency with US 1
28 Route 114 (School Street)No southbound exit
29NB: US 1 north (Broadway) / Cottage Street – Downtown
SB: US 1 north / Route 15 – North Providence, Pawtucket
Northern terminus of concurrency with US 1
30East Street / Roosevelt Avenue – Central Falls
43.369.7 I‑95 north – BostonContinuation into Massachusetts
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b c Google (February 5, 2016). "Interstate 95" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "kurumi: Connecticut Route 184". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "The Roads of Metro Boston - north–south Expressway". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c RIGIS Digital Aerial Photography Archived 2006-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Interstate Highway Opening Dates
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ 1961 Gousha Massachusetts-Connecticut-Rhode Island map
  8. ^ "kurumi: Connecticut Interstate 95". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^
  11. ^ 2014 Interstate Strip Map (PDF) (Map). Rhode Island Department of Transportation. March 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2016.

External links[edit]

  • 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.

Interstate 95
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