RIDOT Takes Swift Action: I-195 West Closure in Providence Due to Critical Bridge Failure Prompts Roadblock and Detours


In an unexpected turn of events, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has announced the immediate closure of the westbound lanes of I-195, also known as the Washington Bridge, in Providence. This critical closure, effective since December 11, 2023, stems from the discovery of significant failures in the bridge’s original components dating back to the 1960s. As the situation unfolds, it’s imperative for motorists to understand the impact, recommended detours, and the ongoing efforts by RIDOT to address this critical issue.

Reasons for Closure:

RIDOT officials have identified critical failures in key components of the Washington Bridge, prompting an immediate closure for safety inspections and repairs. While specific details about the failures are yet to be disclosed, the urgency demonstrated by RIDOT underscores the severity of the situation.

Traffic Impact and Recommended Detours:

The closure of the westbound lanes on I-195 has led to substantial traffic disruptions, particularly during peak commuting hours. RIDOT has proposed detour routes to guide affected motorists:

For Westbound I-195:

  1. Exit 45B: Take Route 195 West to Exit 37, then merge onto I-95 South.
  2. Exit 43: Take I-95 North to Exit 37, then merge onto I-95 South.
  3. Local Providence streets: Utilize alternatives such as Elmwood Avenue, Broad Street, and Westminster Street.

Eastbound I-195: Fortunately, eastbound traffic remains unaffected at this time.

Timeline for Reopening:

As of now, RIDOT has not provided a specific timeline for reopening the westbound lanes of the Washington Bridge. The duration of the closure hinges on the extent of necessary repairs, emphasizing the importance of ongoing updates from official channels.

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Tips for Navigating the Closure:

In light of this unexpected closure, motorists are encouraged to plan ahead, use alternate routes, and stay informed. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Plan ahead: Check traffic reports and allocate extra time for your commute.
  2. Use alternate routes: Explore public transportation, ridesharing, or carpooling to alleviate individual vehicle traffic.
  3. Stay informed: Regularly check RIDOT updates on their website and social media for the latest information on the closure and repair progress.

Additional Resources:

RIDOT advises motorists to stay informed about the latest developments by regularly checking their official website and social media channels for real-time updates.

Possible Implications:

The closure of the Washington Bridge’s westbound lanes is poised to have far-reaching consequences for the Providence community, including increased traffic congestion, disruptions to public transportation, and potential economic impacts on nearby businesses. It underscores the critical importance of infrastructure maintenance and the potential repercussions of neglecting necessary repairs.


While the closure of I-195’s westbound lanes in Providence poses a significant inconvenience to commuters, the paramount concern remains public safety. RIDOT’s swift response to the critical bridge failures reflects a commitment to addressing issues promptly. As the situation evolves, residents and travelers must stay informed, adjust travel plans accordingly, and consider the potential long-term implications of this closure. This unexpected event serves as a stark reminder of the essential role of ongoing infrastructure inspection and maintenance in ensuring the safety and functionality of vital transportation routes.


This blog is based on publicly available information as of December 11, 2023. Given the evolving nature of the situation, it is crucial to rely on official sources such as the RIDOT website and social media channels for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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