Interstate 195 or I -195 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. The highway forms an east-west route from the state capital Providence to Fall River in the east. I-195 continues into Massachusetts and the section in Rhode Island is 6 kilometers long.
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I-195 begins just south of downtown Providence at an interchange with Interstate 95, the highway from New York to Boston. The highway has 2×3 lanes here and one crosses the Seekonk estuary. There are 2×3 lanes available throughout, but there are 2×4 lanes between exits. At East Providence, I-195 crosses the Massachusetts border, then Interstate 195 in Massachusetts continues to Fall River.
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The diversion of I-195 in Providence.
The Washington Bridge over the Seekonk River in Providence is the oldest part of what later became I-195 and opened to traffic on September 25, 1930. In 1968 a second parallel bridge was opened. In November 1958, the first highway section in Providence opened to traffic. In the fall of 1964, the interchange with I-95 opened to traffic. On December 15, 1959, a two-mile stretch opened in East Providence. By August 1960, this section was extended into Massachusetts and the Rhode Island route was completed.
I-195 has been moved south of downtown Providence because the original stretch connecting to I-95 was very twisty and dangerous. I-195 joins I-95 via a new bridge a little further south. The project cost $446 million and was completed in 2012. The actual diversion was already completed in 2009.
In December 2019, the exit numbering was changed from a sequential exit numbering to an exit numbering by distance.
Between 2021 and 2026, the Washington Bridge over the Seekonk River between Providence and East Providence was reconstructed. A fifth lane to the west was also constructed at the time, creating a profile of 2×5 lanes for through traffic. Work began on December 10, 2021. The project cost $78 million.
The highway is quite busy with up to 135,000 vehicles per day near the center. This drops very quickly to 50,000 at the Massachusetts border.