Starting tonight, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will make a change to traffic patterns at the Newport Rotary (the intersection of JT Connell Highway and Admiral Kalbfus Road). Traffic will shift inward on the traffic circle, but all lanes will remain open.

Work on the rotary is one of the initial tasks of the $74 million Pell Bridge Ramps Phase 2 project. RIDOT says in a press release that it is converting it to a modern and safer roundabout, “These traffic circles have proven to reduce fatalities by 90 percent, and greatly reduce injuries and the severity of crashes. With their lower speeds, roundabouts are safer for pedestrians, cyclists, older drivers, and novice drivers”.

RIDOT has issued the following travel advisories for the area;

Overnight

Newport: JT Connell Hwy., Farewell St., Admiral Kalbfus Rd., Third St. and Rte. 138 ramp, lanes narrowed and shifted along the following roads for utility work and striping, Wed.-Thurs. nights, 8 p.m.-5 a.m.

Weekday

Newport: JT Connell Hwy., Farewell St., Admiral Kalbfus Rd., Third St. and Rte. 138 ramp, alternating lane closures along the following roads for construction, Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The Pell Bridge Ramps Phase 2 project will redesign the road network connecting to the Pell Bridge to make travel into Newport easy and safe, according to RIDOT.

Pell Ramps Site Plan

The project includes a new efficient ramp system that will reduce congestion, especially the backup of vehicles on the bridge from the Downtown Newport exit, and improve the connection between Newport’s North End and the downtown area. With a smaller footprint, the new design also will spur economic development as it frees up approximately 25 acres of land. It will be finished by the end of 2024.

More information on the project can be found at www.dot.ri.gov/projects/pellbridgeramps/

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).