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Interstate 895

So its finally come to this:

This Highway  has caused problems for almost every single town on Narragansett Bay. This Highway was a planned Interstate to relieve traffic through Providence and make traveling through the bay a little easier. Yet the people of Rhode Island and Massachusetts have repeatedly said no. So I have decided to clear up this highway on a County by County basis on what this Highway planned to do.

Plan One:  A bridge over the Narragansett Bridge between Warwick and Barrington. Here is the scoop:

Warwick: I-895 was started partially started. It was started as a little highway between I-95 and I-295. It is called SR 37. This would have been the beginning of the bridge. The Highway would have plowed through a newly developing neighborhood north of T.F Green Warwick residents killed this with a passion and SR 37 is a useless highway that connects the two highways.

Barrington: I -895 was also a huge issue in Barrington. The South Shore Expressway in East Providence hooks up with I-195 in Rhode Island at Exit 8. The South Shore Expressway runs into SR 114 and turns into a divided highway as it winds and weaves into Barrington. It ends abruptly and turns into County Rd. I-895 would have plowed through West Barrington and join the Wampanoag Trail, which would have been straightened out to meet Interstate standards. This would have completed a nice loop that would have considerably helped Providence Traffic. But Barrington is a politically powerful town and they refused to have this highway.

Massachusetts:  I-895 would also wreak havoc through Massachusetts too. The Highway at Exit 2 would travel north through Swansea, Rehoboth, and Attleboro to join with I-295 in North Attleboro. This was always planned which you could see with I-95- 295 intersection. This intersection is a half cloverleaf and is open to have I-295 extend Eastward. This was killed by residents not wanting a highway through their quaint little town.

This planned was killed but another plan was designed.

Plan 2: Completing a loop along the Jamestown, Newport, and Mt. Hope Bridges to hook up I-195 in Massachusetts and SR 4 in North Kingston.

Washington County: I-895 would connect to I-95 at about Exit 3 where SR 138 intersects it. It would more or less follow SR 138 through Richmond, South Kingstown, and North Kingstown. Then in North Kingston it would hook up with the current highway at SR 4 and SR 138. This would follow the currently made highway over the Old Jamestown Bridge and the half finished highway through Jamestown.

Newport County: The Jamestown Highway would follow over the Newport Bridge. It would also follow the Newport Access road to I-895. There were to plans for the Highway over the Island. One way would for it to go straight through the middle of the island between SR 114 and SR 138. The other plan would have been to follow the Western shoreline of the island. Either way it would come up to the SR 24 and SR 114 intersection. Another highway would be made to travel to the Mt. Hope Bridge. Now The Mt. Hope Bridge is only two lanes wide so another Bridge for Southbound traffic would be made over the bay to accompany the Mt. Hope Bridge. I-895 would probably not have followed SR 24 because it is not up to Interstate Code. It has to many tight turns and the Sakonnet River bridge would have to be rebuilt to carry an Interstate.

Bristol County: The last part of the plan was to take I-895 through Bristol and Warren along Metacom Ave. (SR 136) This would have upset many neighborhoods in the county. It would travel along the current SR 136 and connect with Exit 2 at I-195. Massachusetts was also at this time trying to continue its plan to go through Rehoboth and Attleboro but it was never passed.

This is the whole story of wild and wacky I-895. It was never built and probably never will be.



Steve Anderson

"Recommendations for Northeast Corridor Transportation: Final Report", US DOT, Sept. 1971.