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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 33-09Contact: Doug Hecox
Monday, October 19, 2009Phone: 202-366-0660

Final Segment of Providence's "Iway" Opens Today
FHWA Administrator Mendez On Hand for Final Chapter in Key Downtown Project

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined Gov. Donald Carcieri and Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Michael Lewis here today to open the final segment of the "Iway" on Interstates 95 and 195.

"The Iway's congestion relief not only means improved safety and convenience for drivers," said Administrator Mendez. "Secretary LaHood and I know it also means a better business climate for the city, which is an economic benefit of which we can all be proud."

The event marked the last milestone for a regional congestion relief project that began a generation ago. RIDOT estimated the construction phase alone supported 6,000 workers.

Construction on the project, which cost $610 million - of which $510 million was federal funding - began in 2003. The project made national headlines through its innovative use of prefabrication - notably, the construction of a bridge offsite and then floated into place in 2006.

Now completed, the Iway will greatly enhance traffic capacity of one of the East Coast's biggest bottlenecks and features on-ramps to the I-95/I-195 interchange which enter roadways from the right, conforming to modern design standards.

"This project solves many traffic problems for the region," said Administrator Mendez. "By eliminating one of the worst bottlenecks in the nation, the Iway helps families get home faster, speeds products to market and improves the overall livability of the Providence area."

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