standing road work
PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced this week that it intends to renumber the exit numbers on Route 78 in Westerly as part of a multiyear program to key the exits to mile markers. The system has been used on many limited-access highways across the country. The work is scheduled to be done this month.
On eastbound Route 78, Exit 3 to Ashaway will become Exit 1; Exit 5, to Route 91-Westerly and Carolina, will become Exit 2. The corresponding changes will also be made for the westbound lane: Exit 5 will become Exit 2, and Exit 4 will become Exit 1. 

The DOT said that Rhode Island and some of its neighboring New England states are among the last to change to the mile-marker method of numbering its highways, as required by the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. Exit numbers here have been assigned sequentially.

A mile-marker exit number system lets drivers know how far they need to travel to reach their desired off-ramp. It also allows for easier expansion for future interchanges since the entire highway does not have to be renumbered to accommodate a new exit number.

Similar changes are being made to Route 4 in Warwick, East Greenwich and North Kingstown. The highway department said it would also assign exit numbers for the first time for Route 403 in East Greenwich and North Kingstown and the Airport Connector in Warwick.

The department said it would contact electronic mapping and GPS companies to inform them of the new exit numbers.
More information on the renumbering project, including an interactive map showing the new and old exit numbers, can be found at

When the new exit numbers are installed, temporary signs will also be installed indicating the old exit number, and those signs will be left in place "for an extended period," an approach used by DOTs elsewhere in the country.

The department said it was also developing schedules for renumbering I-95, I-195, and Routes 10, 24, and 37.
Sun staff