Transportation officials consider closing well-used off-ramp

November 21, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island transportation officials are studying whether to permanently close a well-traveled highway exit as part of two major bridge projects.

The Boston Globe reports the transportation department commissioned two studies to help determine the future of the Gano Street off-ramp for Interstate 195 West.

Local business owners oppose the plan because they view the exit as an indispensable route to the east side of Providence. An online petition to keep it open has more than 1,000 signatures.

The transportation department says at peak times, 400 drivers an hour take the ramp, crossing lanes and merging as I-195 traffic backs up into Seekonk, Massachusetts.

The state is considering adding a westbound lane on I-195 as part of the Washington Bridge rehabilitation project, possibly closing the off-ramp and adding an off-ramp in another location.