Change in traffic pattern to improve safety at the end of the highway near Natick Avenue
As part of its $3 million safety improvement project for Route 37 westbound close to its intersection with Natick Avenue in Cranston, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will open a new curved section of roadway on Friday night, May 14.
The new section begins after Exit 1A (I-295 South), with the road curving to the right before returning to the original highway. The new curve is designed to encourage drivers to slow down as they approach the end of the limited access highway and traffic signal at Natick Avenue.
This location has had a high number of crashes, most of them from people failing to reduce their speed and stop at the end of the highway. From January 2015 to February 2021 there were 38 run-off-the-road crashes (running through the light and the guardrail, onto private property) and 44 rear-end crashes at the light.
The project also includes a slight realignment of the ramp from I-295 southbound to Route 37, which will be completed this week. Remaining tasks include the installation of a new traffic signal with two left turning lanes onto Natick Avenue southbound and the installation of additional signs notifying drivers that the highway is ending.
RIDOT has taken a number of steps in past several years to improve safety at the end of Route 37 including adding signs with flashing beacons, setting grooves in the pavement, striping changes and lowering the speed limit. RIDOT expects to complete this latest project in early summer 2021.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The safety improvements on Route 37 westbound are made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.