Rhode Island Roads - RI 10

RI 10

RI 10 is a semi-inner beltway, with the northern end coming south of the RI 146 freeway but the southern end passes well south of the city. It has plenty of old signage on it, but not on the northern mile or two where it multiplexes with US 6.

The view from the SB side as it travels up to end at RI 12. As you can see, there's another half to that underpass, and as you can guess, RI 10 was intended to continue southward another mile or two.

Looking more closely from the NB lane (the loop from RI 12 EB) at the graded but unpaved SB lanes. In the last photo, you can see a bridge label over the empty SB side. That's because...

There were once two exits here, where the EB-NB ramp (sorta loopy for a direct ramp) was once the SB-WB ramp as an actual loop. Because the SB-WB ramp looped around underneath the south side of RI 12, of course it would require a bridge label on that side, as you saw above. That would also explain why the SB side is graded through the bridge area despite no longer being in use. Thanks to Gary Lucas for the information. Of course, the highway was meant to continue if these are and were labelled as exits and not the end of the freeway.

RI 10 SB approaching I-95 (and nearing the southern end of the freeway and of 10 itself). RI didn't use reflective backgrounds until more recently, and the US 1 sign certainly doesn't have one. I love that STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM background to the shield.

Signage on RI 10 NB, starting just past the beginning of the freeway. The greenouts on the 2 signs are because this used to be for 2 WB only - traffic to 2 EB used a now-closed ramp. Note the small shields, rounded BGS's, and off-white and different-sized text. RI had its own standards for signage until recently.

Looking at the signage from the SB side of 10, where clearly both exits still exist. Between these and the NB signs, you can see remnants of the "R.I." that was once printed on BGS shields to match their free-standing counterparts.

Three views of construction along 10 SB in 2002.

Two more views, in March 2004. The project has been to rebuild the RI 10 viaduct over Cranston Street. In the first picture, the SB bridge over the street itself is being reconstructed, while in the second picture the SB lanes further down the highway have already been completed. They are striped to accomodate two-way traffic so that once the SB side is completed, the contractor can begin work on the NB side in the same fashion.

The second-to-last exit on RI 10 NB before the merge with US 6 EB. Courtesy Doug Kerr.

The first exit on RI 10 SB after the split with US 6 west.

It's 2010 and there's still construction on RI 10 - you might call it a relaxed pace. At least now, it's up to Union Ave., replacing the overpass. I imagine Huntington Ave. is involved in the detour.

What is this RI 195? In fact, it was the original designation of the US 6 freeway. US 6 used current US 6A, and the plan was to have I-195 bisect RI 10 - and eventually connect to the proposed I-84 toward Hartford.

One more NB sign that needs replacement.

Concrete remnants of when the RI 10 freeway ended about a mile short of I-95, and flowed into Harris Street. Once the US 6 freeway was completed to RI 10, it too ended here, a short distance away from the merge of the two highways. In the 1980's, the completion finally got pushed through with the I-95/RI 10/US 6 interchange (visit I-95 link below), and the NB 10/EB 6 ramp to Harris was abandoned in favor of an SB onramp from somewhere else. For some reason, the SB onramp remains, even though it plops down directly in the middle of Harris Street, turning it into a divided residential street.

You can see that onramp here, but something much more fascinating - a sign directly out of the 1950's! That's right, it dates from the very first section of RI 10 freeway to open, and the reason it's white on black is because it predates the usage of green backgrounds on overhead signs. It's lost its reflectivity and most of its usefulness (better would just be an RI 10 SOUTH and US 6 EAST assembly pointing up the ramp, and an LGS for Harris Ave. pointing down the street), but hey, this is one old structure I don't care if RIDOT leaves standing until it crumbles. And now, finally, you can click for closeup.

When RI 10 came off the freeway onto Harris St., it didn't just plow straight on into I-95 anyway. Instead, it followed a few back roads, including River Avenue, where this SOUTH remains as a testament to that old routing, and ended at RI 146 (now 246).

The RI 10/US 6/I-95 interchange
Onto US 6 and RI 10/US 6

Onto RI 12
Onto US 1
Onto I-95
Onto RI 2
RI 10 on Steve Anderson's bostonroads.com
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