A traffic nightmare could be coming to Providence next weekend. What you need to know

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PROVIDENCE — Route 10 north will be closed at the interchange with Route 6 in Providence from next Friday night, June 17, until the early morning of June 20.

Northbound Route 10, near the interchange, is being lowered to be level with southbound Route 10. The portion of road closed will be 900 feet long, around the start of the new Route 6 flyover ramp at Union Avenue.

The weekend-long closure, the same weekend as Rhode Island Pride, will start at 7 p.m. June 17 and end at 5 a.m. June 20. The closure will create extensive delays for anyone trying to use that area of the highway.

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“We’ll have detours set up, but for those who know they’re going up there, we’re encouraging people to divert to help reduce the congestion and delay,” said Rhode Island Department of Transportation spokesman Charles St. Martin.

Route 95 traffic on the Providence Viaduct, foreground, with the Route 6/10 Connector, background, as seen from the parking garage at Providence Place.

Route 95 traffic on the Providence Viaduct, foreground, with the Route 6/10 Connector, background, as seen from the parking garage at Providence Place.

St. Martin said his best advice is to find another way, including side streets, especially for those trying to access Route 95.

The Route 6/10 interchange project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

How to navigate northward during the Route 10 closure

Anyone using Route 10 north from Park Avenue to Providence should consider using Route 95 instead.

Through traffic should bypass the area entirely and use Route 295, which splits from Route 95 in Warwick and rejoins it in Attleboro.

The primary detour for those northbound on Route 10 will have drivers get off onto Route 6 west, then reverse direction on Hartford Avenue and get back on Route 6 east, which leads directly to the open portion of Route 10 north. The traffic lights will be turned off, police officers will direct traffic and a single lane will be dedicated to moving traffic back onto the highway.

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Route 6 east to Route 10 north will stay open. Other exits on Route 10 will also remain open, with delays expected.

For those trying to access Route 95 who would normally get there by going north on Route 10, St. Martin said the better route would be to head south and get on Route 95 near Roger Williams Park, or to use Route 6 west and get onto Route 295 in Johnston.

Major changes coming to Route 10 and Route 6 off-ramps

Once the highway reopens on June 20, the new ramp onto Broadway from Route 10, opened after the off-ramp to Westminster Street was closed, will also close. Instead, it will be used by eastbound Route 6 as an off-ramp to Broadway.

Over the next year, the state will build a new off-ramp from Route 10 to Westminster, which should open next summer.

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St. Martin said people who used to use the Westminster Street or Broadway exits should use Union Avenue, Dean Street or the Route 6 flyover ramp.

What construction is happening to Route 10 during the closure

The northbound lanes on Route 10 are going to be lowered to meet the grade of the current southbound lanes.

That is part of the larger project, to lower Route 10 below the side streets, and provide better connectivity to Route 6, Martin said. It also allows for easier pedestrian and car access between Olneyville and Federal Hill.

The Route 6-10 Interchange reconstruction, a project decades in planning and now, by dollar value, the biggest road project in Rhode Island.

The Route 6-10 Interchange reconstruction, a project decades in planning and now, by dollar value, the biggest road project in Rhode Island.

Part of the project removed the need for traffic from 10 to drive through Olneyville to get onto Route 6, through the flyover ramp

Construction workers will remove 7,000 cubic yards of material to lower the northbound highway, and will then repave the entire section before the highway fully reopens at 5 a.m., June 20.

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St. Martin said the closure will hurry along the project and that in the past, the public has been cooperative with similar closures as construction workers slid new bridges into place and completed other large projects.

St. Martin said that once Route 10 is lowered, both the north and southbound traffic will be in their “permanent footprints.”

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Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Route 10 in Providence RI closing for a weekend in June