Route 146 flyover bridge to open this weekend

Route 146 flyover bridge to open this weekend

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NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is preparing to open a flyover bridge on Route 146 North this weekend.


RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said drivers will be able to use the flyover bridge come Saturday morning.

The flyover bridge will allow drivers to bypass a problematic intersection at Sayles Hill Road in North Smithfield.

“It’s going to save lives,” Alviti said of the bridge. “We’ve had a number of accidents and traffic deaths [at that intersection].”

RIDOT data reveals that approximately 85 crashes happen annually at that intersection, which is the only one with a traffic light on the entire Route 146 corridor in Rhode Island.

Police arrested a North Smithfield man last October after he hit and killed someone who was walking near the intersection. That driver, identified as Nicholas Stone, is facing several charges, including driving under the influence and driving to endanger resulting in death

Just days prior, a woman was hit by a car while crossing Route 146 near Sayles Hill Road.

“We decided to build an overpass at that intersection,” Alviti said. “Drivers heading from Providence to Woonsocket will now be able to stay in the left-hand lane and will not have to stop at a traffic light. They’ll fly right over.”

Drivers in the right-hand lane can either turn onto Sayles Hill Road or continue down Route 146 North.

Alviti expects it will take drivers some time to get used to the new configuration.

“The first few days will be challenging for folks to make that adjustment … But I think once people go through it for a couple of days, they’ll get the hang of it,” he said.

The flyover bridge is part of the $196 million Route 146 Reconstruction Project, which is set to be completed in 2026.