Interstate 195 (Rhode Island–Massachusetts)

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Interstate 195

I-195 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-95
Maintained by RIDOT and MassDOT
Length44.5 mi[1] (71.6 km)
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
West end I-95 / US 6 in Providence, RI
Major intersections
East end I-495 / Route 25 in Wareham, MA
CountryUnited States
StatesRhode Island, Massachusetts
CountiesRI: Providence
MA: Bristol, Plymouth
Highway system
I-184RI Route 195
Route 193MA Route 197
I-95I-95E, RI Route 96
I-95I-95E, MA Route 96

Interstate 195 (I-195) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway running a combined 44.55 miles (71.70 km) in the US states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It travels from a junction with I-95 in Providence, Rhode Island, east to a junction with I-495 and Massachusetts Route 25 in Wareham, Massachusetts. It runs east–west and passes through the cities of Fall River, Massachusetts, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The portion of I-195 in East Providence is also known as the East Providence Expressway.

I-195 provides a direct highway route to Cape Cod from Rhode Island and, via I-95, from New York and Connecticut as well.

Route description

  mi[1] km
RI 3.82 6.15
MA 40.73 65.55
Total 44.55 71.70

Rhode Island

I-195 begins at I-95 at a semi-directional T interchange, which along with a new bridge over the Providence River, was part of the large Iway construction project. At this point, US Route 6 (US 6) is also signed along I-195. The complex Iway interchange includes several ramps for local streets (labeled exits 1A and 1B) and an interchange with I-95, which is unnumbered. US 44 and US 1A join at the next interchange with Gano and Main streets, labeled exits 1C, 1D, and 1E. The road crosses the Washington Bridge over the Seekonk River into East Providence. US 44 leaves the freeway at exit 1C in East Providence. Exit 1D is a partial interchange with Route 103 while exit 2A provides access to several local streets in East Providence. Exits 2B and 2C provide access to Route 114, which is also where US 6 and US 1A leave the freeway. I-195 then leaves Rhode Island, having gone 3.82 miles (6.15 km).


I-195 enters Seekonk, Massachusetts, and interchanges with Route 114A at exit 1. There are two interchanges in Swansea, exit 5 for Route 136 and exit 8 for US 6. Access to the town of Somerset and the village of Ocean Grove in Swansea is via exit 10 (Route 103). I-195 crosses the Charles M. Braga Jr. Memorial Bridge over the Taunton River, entering Fall River. The bridge passes over Battleship Cove and USS Massachusetts (BB-59), after which exit 11 provides access to Route 79 and Route 138. Exits 12 and 13 provide access to downtown Fall River streets, while a brief concurrency with Route 24 exists between exits 14A (Route 24 south) and 14B (Route 24 north). Passing the Watuppa Ponds, I-195 enters Westport, where exit 15 is a partial interchange with Sanford Road, and exit 16 marks the northern terminus of Route 88. Exits 19 and 22 provide access to local roads in Dartmouth, while, shortly after entering the port city of New Bedford, there is a full cloverleaf interchange with the Route 140 freeway (exits 24A and 24B). Exits 25 to 29 are partial interchanges with several local New Bedford city streets. A bridge over the Acushnet River takes I-195 to the town of Fairhaven, where there is the northern terminus of Route 240 freeway at exit 29. Exit 31 is for North Street in Mattapoisett, exit 35 is Route 105 in Marion, and exit 39 is Route 28 in Wareham. I-195 ends at trumpet interchange with I-495 (exit 40B) and Route 25 (exit 40A) in Wareham, having 40.73 miles (65.55 km) in Massachusetts.


I-195 in Fall River, photo from 1968
I-195 approaching the Braga Bridge in downtown Fall River

Predating I-195 were two sections of road—Fox Point Boulevard and the Washington Bridge. The Washington Bridge, crossing the Seekonk River between Providence and East Providence, was opened on September 25, 1930, replacing an 1885 swing bridge with a higher bascule bridge. A new eastbound bridge opened in November 1968.[2]

Fox Point Boulevard, later George M. Cohan Boulevard, was a surface boulevard connecting the Washington Bridge west to the Point Street Bridge and Downtown, Providence. It was built with no cross traffic by using U-turn ramps in the median to reverse direction. This was the last part in Providence to be built as a freeway, opened in December 1968.

The first freeway section came off the west end of Cohan Boulevard and over the Providence River, ending at the one-way pair of Pine and Friendship streets, which opened in November 1958. The ramp to Pine Street has been closed, but the entrance from Friendship Street still exists. The I-95 interchange at this end opened in fall 1964; the Pine Street ramp was kept for a while.

The next section to be constructed was the part in East Providence. It opened to the last exit before the state line on December 15, 1959, and was extended into Massachusetts by August 1960.

I-195 cut through the center of Watchemoket Square, which, about 30 years earlier, was the heart of downtown East Providence but was on the decline in the 1950s.[3] Half of the square was demolished to make way for the highway.[3]

Before the Interstate Highway System numbering was decided upon, I-195 was planned as a relocation of US 6; in fact, all but the last section was signed as US 6 when built (the first section only eastbound though). In 1957, the number Interstate 95E (I-95E) was assigned, as all intercity routes were numbered before the auxiliary Interstate numbering was chosen, and the Providence–New Bedford, Massachusetts, route was too long to be considered intracity. The I-195 designation was assigned in 1959 with the final numbering. At some time after 1976, the definition of I-195 was extended east to I-495 (which was itself extended).

I-195 still carries US 6, now in both directions, from I-95 to the last interchange before Massachusetts. It also carries US 1A and US 44 over the Washington Bridge and its approaches, though the former has almost no signs. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) started reconstructing the westbound Washington Bridge in October 2021,[4] following years of delays.[5]

The Providence River Bridge carried traffic across the Providence River, to its western terminus with I-95. It was demolished in 2010–2011 due to realignment of I-195. The Providence Pedestrian Bridge opened in its place in 2019.


Downtown Providence, Rhode Island.jpg
The rerouted I-195 in downtown Providence runs over the newly completed bridge at bottom, further away from the downtown core. The missing section of the old I-195, right of the Providence River, marks the beginning of the previous highway's demolition.
CarriesMotor vehicles
CrossesProvidence River
LocaleProvidence, Rhode Island, US
Maintained byRIDOT
No. of lanes8
Construction end2010
Construction cost$610 million (equivalent to $832 million in 2023[6])
A before and after map of the project

I-195's stretch through Providence was reconstructed with a $610-million (equivalent to $832 million in 2023[6]) project by RIDOT to relocate the I-195 and I-95 intersection.[7] The relocation made the segment safer for traffic, reunified the Jewelry District with Downtown, and freed up more space. In the process, some 35 buildings, housing over 80 businesses and six residences, were demolished.[8] The new stretch of highway is called the Iway by RIDOT and includes a signature bridge over the Providence River[9] as well as a landscaped pedestrian walkway over the highway. It connects India Point Park to the Fox Point neighborhood. It involved renovating India Point Park and constructing a 50-foot-wide (15 m) pedestrian bridge;[10] building a signature arch bridge over the Providence River; and improved highway flow, access, and safety, as the original intersection was not built for modern traffic standards. The previous lane alignment was dangerous and created congestion, as lane shifts were often required to avoid a left exit; moreover, the concrete supports had deteriorated to the point that steel shoring were needed to reinforce the intersection's many bridges.[11]

Providence River with Fox Point Hurricane Barrier. The Providence River bridge is just downstream but is not connected to the barrier. The Manchester Street Power Station is on the right.

In the 1980s, RIDOT reviewed many plans to deal with the aging section of I-195 in Providence, which was built in the 1950s. Along with having to complete numerous repairs on one of the busiest stretches of highway in Rhode Island, traffic volumes had increased tremendously over the years. The highway, designed for 75,000 vehicles a day, carried more than 160,000 cars daily at the time. The old design also had tight curves, left-hand exits, and closely spaced exits, which had contributed to excessive congestion on I-195 and nearby streets. RIDOT worked on the Iway's environmental impact statement (EIS) in the early 1990s, finding that the existing highway deteriorated bridges, substandard roadway alignments, sharp curves, and substandard shoulder widths. The department looked at three alternatives, including a no-build option in which the existing route would be reconstructed. RIDOT ultimately chose an alignment south of the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, which would allow safety problems and congestion issues to be addressed, while also allowing for significant redevelopment of the Providence waterfront.

The 400-foot (120 m) center span of the new Providence River Bridge was built offsite at the Quonset Business Park and floated up to Providence in August 2006.[12] The span was placed on self-propelled modular transporters, rolled onto two large barges, and floated up the bay. The opening of the Iway was preceded by a public walk on the Iway on October 20, 2007.

On November 4, 2007, the new Iway bridge opened to eastbound traffic from I-95 north to I-195 east. The new alignment of I-195 opened in stages over the next two years. The old I-195 eastbound roadway was completely closed at the end of 2008. On June 18, 2009, the new Iway bridge opened to westbound I-195 traffic to I-95 south. By October 2009, all westbound traffic on I-195 was using the new highway; the onramps to the old I-195 were closed completely, but some of the old alignment's ramps remained open. The last major ramp of the project opened in October 2011.[13]

Exit list

Massachusetts interchanges were to be renumbered to mileage-based numbering in a project scheduled to begin in 2016, until the project was indefinitely postponed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). On November 18, 2019, MassDOT announced the project would begin in late mid-2020.[14][15] The exit numbers were changed starting on October 25, 2020, and the work was completed on November 6, 2020. Rhode Island interchanges were renumbered to a mileage-based system early in 2020 in a plan announced by RIDOT in September 2017[16][17] and scheduled to begin on January 28, 2020.[18][19]

StateCountyLocation[20]mi[21][20]kmOld exitNew exit[22][23]Destinations[22]Notes
Rhode IslandProvidenceProvidence0.000.00

I-95 north / US 6 west – Boston, MA
Western terminus; western end of US 6 concurrency; exit 36A on I-95
0.400.641APoint StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
I-95 south / Eddy Street – New York
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; serves Rhode Island Hospital Trauma Center; exit 36B on I-95
Providence River Bridge (Iway)
1.101.7721AGano Street / India StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance
US 44 west / US 1A south (S. Main Street)
One-way street; western end of US 44/US 1A concurrency; westbound exit only
US 44 / US 1A (S. Water Street)One-way street; western end of US 44/US 1A concurrency; eastbound entrance only
1.502.4131DGano Street – India PointWestbound exit and entrance[24]
Washington Bridge over the Seekonk River
East Providence1.802.901EWaterfront AvenueProposed westbound exit to be constructed as part of the Washington Bridge rehab project (2021-2026)[24]
US 44 east (Taunton Avenue) / Riverside
Eastern end of US 44 concurrency; Riverside access via Veterans Memorial Parkway; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Route 103 east (Warren Avenue)
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; western terminus of Route 103

To Route 103 / US 44 – East Providence
Westbound exit and entrance only
3.104.992AWarren Avenue (Route 103) / Broadway / Pawtucket Avenue (Route 114)Eastbound exit and entrance only

East Shore Expressway to Route 114 south – Barrington
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance

US 6 east to US 1A / Route 114 north (Pawtucket Avenue) – Seekonk MA
Eastern end of US 6/US 1A concurrency; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Runnins River4.30
Rhode IslandMassachusetts line
MassachusettsBristolSeekonk0.5810.9351 Route 114A – Seekonk, Barrington RI
Route 136 south – Warren RI, Newport RI
Northern terminus of Route 136
US 6 to Route 118 – Swansea
Somerset9.84915.850410 Route 103 / Lee's River Avenue – Somerset, Ocean GroveSigned as exits 10A (west) and 10B (east) westbound[22]
Taunton RiverCharles M. Braga Jr. Memorial Bridge
Fall River11.98419.286511
Route 79 north / Route 138 – Taunton, N. Tiverton R.I.
Entrances have direct right-in/right-out ramps to/from Milliken Boulevard
12.43920.019612Hartwell StreetEastbound exit only; access via C/D lane[22]
Pleasant StreetWestbound exit and entrance only; access via C/D lane[22]
Route 81 south (Plymouth Avenue)
Northern terminus of Route 81; access via C/D lane[22]
Route 24 south – Tiverton, RI, Newport, RI
Western end of Route 24 concurrency; exit 3 on Route 24
Route 24 north – Taunton, Boston
Left exit and entrance eastbound; eastern end of Route 24 concurrency; exit 4 on Route 24
Westport15.35424.710915Sanford Road – North WestportEastbound exit only[22]

Route 88 south to US 6 – Horseneck Beach
Northern terminus of Route 88
Dartmouth19.43331.2741119Reed Road – Hixville, DartmouthSigned as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north) westbound[22]
21.97935.3721222Faunce Corner Road / Faunce Corner Mall Road – North DartmouthSplit into exits 22A (F.C. Mall Rd.) and 22B (F.C. Road) westbound[22]
New Bedford23.77338.2591324
Route 140 to US 6 – New Bedford, Dartmouth, Taunton
Signed as exits 24A (south) and 24B (north);[22] exits 2A-B on Route 140
24.62739.6331425Penniman StreetEastbound exit[22] and westbound entrance
Route 18 south – Downtown New Bedford
No access to Route 18 north or from Route 18 south
25.36740.8241627Washburn StreetEastbound exit[22] and entrance
25.63241.2511728Coggeshall StreetWestbound exit[22] and entrance
Route 240 south – Fairhaven
Northern terminus of Route 240
PlymouthMattapoisett30.91649.7541931Mattapoisett, North RochesterSigned as exits 31A (Mattapoisett) and 31B (N. Rochester)[22]
Marion35.13356.5412035 Route 105 – Marion, Rochester
Wareham39.23363.1392139 Route 28 – Wareham, South Middleboro
Route 25 east – Cape Cod
Western terminus of Route 25, exit 1; trumpet interchange.
I-495 north – Marlboro
Eastern terminus of I-195; southern terminus of I-495, exit 1; trumpet interchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


In June 2008, RIDOT nominated the Iway bridge float for the America's Transportation Award on the basis that the project "demonstrate[d] innovative management".[25] The Iway bridge float was one of 10 finalists for the national award, receiving an Innovative Management award in the large project category.[26] The Publicity Club of New England also gave RIDOT its annual "Bell Ringer" award for the Iway logo.[27]

Light pollution

One of the key features of the Iway, the new Providence River Bridge, is illuminated by architectural lighting, making it visible from many points in the city and on the Providence River. There has been criticism[28] that this lighting has caused a considerable amount of light pollution, which has made it difficult for astronomers in the Providence area to view the night sky. Complaints have been made to the state and in response, lights are turned off at 11:00 pm to save energy and reduce light pollution.


  1. ^ a b Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  2. ^ "Welcome to Adobe GoLive 4". Archived from the original on November 5, 2004.
  3. ^ a b O'Connor, Kevin P. (27 November 2008). "A place that may regain its glory". Fall River, Massachusetts: The Herald News. Gatehosue Media. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Rhode Island bridge work to improve I-195 flow". October 14, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  5. ^ Anderson, Patrick (October 12, 2021). "Construction on Route 195W on Washington Bridge to begin after court ruling". The Providence Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 30, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the MeasuringWorth series.
  7. ^ "The Iway: Relocating I-195 in Providence". State of Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  8. ^ Sabar, Ariel (October 3, 1999). "Highway Blues". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on August 22, 2002. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  9. ^ Staff (2006). "Moving and setting the Iway I-195 Providence River Bridge". Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved September 26, 2006.
  10. ^ "Replacement of India Point Park Pedestrian Bridge". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  11. ^ RIDOT 195 Intro Archived 2005-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Center for Innovative Finance Support - Project Profiles". FHWA. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  13. ^ "195 Relocation Background". Providence College. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  14. ^ Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2015). "COMMBUYS - Bid Solicitation FAP# HSIP-002S(874) Exit Signage Conversion to Milepost-Based Numbering System along Various Interstates, Routes and the Lowell Connector". Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Malme, Robert H. (October 5, 2016). "Current and Proposed Future Numbers (plus US Routes)". Massachusetts Interstate Highway Exit Lists. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  16. ^ Nesi, Ted (March 29, 2016). "RI set to renumber all its highway exit signs". Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  17. ^ RIDOT (2017). "Rhode Island Highway Exit Renumbering Program". Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  18. ^ "Travel Advisory: RIDOT Resumes Highway Mile-Marker Numbering Program" (Press release). Rhode Island Department of Transportation. January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  19. ^ Andrade, Kevin G. (December 2, 2019). "Wintry weather delays renumbering of exits on Route 195". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  20. ^ a b MassDOT Planning Division. "Massachusetts Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  21. ^ Google (January 19, 2016). "East Providence Expressway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "I-195 Renumbering" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  23. ^ "Rhode Island Mile-Marker Exit Program". Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Anderson, Patrick (August 14, 2019). "Clearing the clog?". The Providence Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  25. ^[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Award Winner: Large Project - Innovative Management Archived 2011-09-03 at the Wayback Machine AASHTO
  27. ^[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ Coolidge, Matthew (December 7, 2008). "IWay Bridge Lighting". Greater City Providence. Retrieved January 2, 2023.

External links