Intersection Improvements

The safety and capacity of our major arterial highways is often controlled by the key intersections along any given route. Particularly at the signalized intersections throughout the state, improvements to safety and capacity are often required, and intersections are routinely improved as isolated projects. The nature of the improvements is accomplished after a thorough study of the existing operational characteristics and the accident records. In some cases, the identified problems can be corrected simply through modifications to the traffic signal. In other cases, a major expansion of the intersection is needed to add lanes for capacity and to reduce conflicts among turning vehicles. The two intersections presented below are typical of signalized intersection expansion projects.

Metacom Avenue/Gooding Avenue/Narrows Road

Bristol, RI
Owner: Rhode Island Department of Transportation

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In connection with commercial development at this location, the Town of Bristol requested that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) improve this heavily-travelled intersection. Increased capacity was needed. Through an ongoing on-call contract with the RIDOT for traffic signal design, GRA was assigned this project. Included were traffic counts, capacity analysis, accident analysis and a conceptual plan development that allowed for input from the town and for evaluation by the RIDOT. The improvements proposed called for street widening to add approach lanes and side-street capacity. Increasing the capacity on the side streets, in turn, improved the overall operations at this signalized location. A new traffic signal was designed, which included up-to-date pedestrian capabilities. Right-of-way acquisition was necessary, for which right-of-way plans and an amended state highway plat were prepared. GRA prepared the plans, specifications and bidding documents for construction as a state highway project.

U.S. Route 1 (Post Road) and Route 102 (Ten Rod Road)

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North Kingstown, RI
Owner: Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Deficiencies in operations and safety at this major intersection in North Kingstown were identified by the RIDOT. An analysis of the data and the existing conditions led to the conclusion that an expansion and reconstruction of the intersection were required. The approaches were widened to provide exclusive left-turn lanes in all four directions, new sidewalks were provided and a new traffic signal was designed providing full pedestrian capabilities. Because this intersection is located in an area of historical significance, the use of the black ornamental traffic signal hardware was approved. The acquisition of right-of-way was necessary to implement these improvements. GRA prepared all of the required state highway plat drawings and deed descriptions.