RICHMOND — Members of the Richmond and Hopkinton town councils will discuss the issue of Interstate 95 signs when they hold their respective meetings on Tuesday. The Hopkinton meeting, which normally takes place on Mondays, was pushed back a day because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Richmond Town Administrator Karen Pinch said she, Town Council President Paul Michaud and councilor Mark Trimmer had met on Jan. 3 with representatives from the state Department of Transportation to discuss upcoming changes to signs on I-95 and the Exit 3 ramp. Also present were Hopkinton council President Frank Landolfi and Town Manager William McGarry.
There has been some friction between the two towns over whether village names should be on the signs and, if so, which names should be on them. Hopkinton insists that the Hope Valley name remain on the signs while Richmond has favored using the town, not the village name.
Pinch said that the DOT is planning to rebuild the Exit 3 ramp, so instead of the current Exits 3A and 3B, there will be a single ramp. “It’s going to come down to a T, and there’s going to be a light there. So the problem that creates is in terms of signage, because now, there’s not as many opportunities for the signs to say different things, and according to federal regulations, each of the signs, the big signs saying ‘This is a mile away, this is a half mile away. Here we are at the exit, all three of them have to say the same thing. The issue is the village names versus the town names.”
Landolfi said he was determined to keep the Hope Valley and Wyoming names on the signs.
“I wanted to make sure that at least the Hope Valley sign going south remained on the overhead, which is the main sign, so there was at least one mention of a ground-mounted sign for our town,” he said. “But we had to compromise, because the issue was South Kingstown had to mentioned in all areas, unfortunately. So the compromise was, we kept Hope Valley going south on the overhead and then, the village of Wyoming is going to be removed from the ground-mounted sign on 95 and be the ancillary sign once you get off the exit.”
The new I-95 southbound sign configuration will be as follows: the large overhead signs and the 1-mile and ½-mile “advance” signs will read “Hope Valley, South Kingstown.” The sign on the exit ramp will read “Richmond, URI,” and the sign at the bottom of the ramp will read “Wyoming, Hope Valley, South Kingstown.”
The northbound signs: overhead, and advance 1- mile and ½-mile signs will read “Richmond, South Kingstown.” The sign on the ramp will read “Hope Valley, URI,” and the sign at the end of the ramp will read “Wyoming, Hope Valley, South Kingstown.”