Travel advisory: lane changes begin August 10 for Route 138 as part of the Pell Bridge ramp project in Newport

Starting Monday evening, August 9, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be relocating traffic lanes on both sides of Route 138 to the right, between the Newport Pell Bridge and the JT Connell Expressway overpass, in as part of initial construction activities. for the $ 74 million Pell Bridge Ramps Phase 2 project in Newport.

The RIDOT will keep all traffic lanes open, but the right lane on Route 138 east exiting the bridge will function as the only exit lane for exiting downtown Newport. RIDOT does not expect travel delays due to these changes but encourages motorists to reduce their speed and drive safely in the work area.

The change will provide an area in the median for RIDOT to begin bridge preservation work on bridges that cross Route 138 on 3rd Street, the Old Colony and Newport Railroad line and the JT Connell Expressway.

Phase 2 of the Pell Bridge Ramp Project will redesign the road network connecting the Pell Bridge to make travel to Newport easy and safe. It includes a new efficient ramp system that will reduce congestion, especially saving vehicles on the bridge from the Downtown Newport exit, and improve the connection between Newport’s North End and downtown. With a smaller footprint, the new design will also boost economic development by freeing up about 25 acres of land. It will be completed at the end of 2024.

All construction projects are subject to schedule and scope changes based on needs, circumstances, discoveries and weather conditions.

“Phase 2 of the Pell Bridge Ramp Project is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s continued commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and restore Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure to good condition, promote economic development and create jobs. Learn more at

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