Interstate 295 in Massachusetts and Rhode Island serves as a western bypass of Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The highway had also been proposed to extend east and southward from the current northern terminus (later renumbered to the never built Interstate 895).
Dan Moraseski writes that current Interstate 295 was always planned as Interstate 295. The other half east of Interstate 95 was later changed to Interstate 895 though, probably once they realized it wouldn't go straight across Interstate 95 at the south intersection.
Also about Interstate 895 - the original plan was to start on Rhode Island 37 (probably at Interstate 295) and go east across the Providence River, then turn north along the East Shore Expressway (To Rhode Island 114) and head up to the north end of Interstate 295. Later it was planned to go roughly along Rhode Island 138 and Rhode Island/Massachusetts 136 from Interstate 95 to Interstate 195."
Interstate 295 was planned in 1960, with construction commencing in 1965. Work took ten years to complete, finishing in June 1975.1
High Priority Corridor
Interstate 295 is part of High Priority Corridor 60: Providence Beltline Corridor.
Interstate 295 southbound, 2.75 miles north of the merge onto Interstate 95 southbound. Rhode Island 2 (Bald Hill Road) and Rhode Island 113 (East Avenue) meet the freeway within 1.25 miles of its end at the Rhode Island and Warwick Mall area of Warwick. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Exit 2 departs Interstate 295 southbound for Rhode Island 2 (Bald Hill Road). Bald Hill Road intersects Rhode Island 113 (East Avenue) nearby to the southwest. East Avenue crosses paths with Interstate 295 ahead of the wye interchange with Interstate 95. The pull-through panel at Exit 2 reflects the junction with Interstate 95 instead of Interstate 295 south. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Interstate 295 comes to an end, proclaimed by this end shield. The next exit traffic faces is Exit 10 of Interstate 95 for Rhode Island 117, serving West Warwick and Warwick. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
Two miles south of the Interstate 95 & 295 split (Exit 11) on northbound at Warwick. Pictured here is the original guide sign and replacement sign bridge for Exit 11. The six-ramp partial-cloverleaf interchange with Rhode Island 117 (Centerville Road) lies ahead. First photo taken by Dan Moraseski (Winter 2001), second Photo taken 06/26/05.
The diagrammatic overhead for Interstate 295 (Exit 11) on Interstate 95 northbound at the Rhode Island 3 (Cowesett Road) overpass was replaced by a new sign bridge just to the north. The space on the Cowesett Road over crossing is now home to a variable message sign. Four northbound lanes for Interstate 95 are maintained through the interchange itself. That is quite a testament to the volume of traffic in the Providence metropolitan area. First photo taken by Douglas Kerr (09/01), second photo taken 06/26/05.
Interstate 95 passes over Rhode Island 115 (Toll Gate Road) one half mile ahead of the Interstate 295 northbound beginning (Exit 11). The control city of Woonsocket, is located near the Massachusetts state line approximately 23 miles to the north. Another seven miles of pavement separate this junction with downtown Providence on Interstate 95 northbound. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Split of Interstate 295 northbound from Interstate 95 at Exit 11. The next Interstate 95 interchange is only one-quarter mile to the north with Rhode Island 113 (East Avenue) east. Rhode Island 113 travels east through the Greenwood community of west Warwick. Exit 1 of Interstate 295 northbound loops onto Rhode Island 113 (East Avenue) westbound toward Rhode Island Mall and junction Rhode Island 2 (Bald Hill Road). The two photos compare the original sign bridge and its replacement. First photo taken by Douglas Kerr (09/28/01), second photo taken 06/26/05.
Northbound reassurance shield posted for Interstate 295 just after its departure from the left-hand lanes of Interstate 95. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Interstate 295 northbound sees a return ramp to Interstate 95 southbound at Exit 2A. This junction is six miles north of the Rhode Island state line and city of Pawtucket. Even though exit 2 splits into 2A and 2B, both directions take you to an exit on Interstate 95 for Attleboro. Photo taken by Dan Moraseski and Shawn De Cesari (2001).
Unconstructed Interstate 895 was to continue the Interstate 295 freeway east through Attleboro and south to Interstate 195 between Seekonk and Fall River. A full-cloverleaf interchange was built between Interstate 95 & 295 in anticipation of Interstate 895. However the cancellation of that highway resulted in the abandonment of half the ramps at the Exit 2A/B junction with Interstate 95. While the pavement continues straight ahead, all northbound drivers must use the loop ramp onto Interstate 95 northbound at Exit 2B. Photo taken by Dan Moraseski and Shawn De Cesari (2001).
A look at the jersey barrier and warning signs and lights posted along the Exit 2B loop ramp onto Interstate 95 northbound. A short section of roadway was built beyond the wall for the unconstructed Interstate 895. Ramps from and to the abandoned freeway also remain here unused. Photo taken by Dan Moraseski and Shawn De Cesari (2001).
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
A short distance south of the Interstate 95 junction with Interstate 495 is the two-mile guide sign for Interstate 295 (Exit 4). Interstate 295 constitutes a western bypass of Providence, Rhode Island for travelers bound for Warwick and points south. The freeway also provides a direct route in conjunction with Rhode Island 99 and 146 to Woonsocket. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Exit 5 departs Interstate 95 southbound for Robert Toner Boulevard one mile north of Interstate 295. Robert Toner Boulevard travels west from nearby Massachusetts 152 (Main Street) between Attleboro and North Attleboro. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Oversized Interstate 95 shields such as this are common in Massachusetts. The freeway leaves the Exit 5 folded-diamond interchange and nears the Exit 4 full-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 295. Interstate 295 southbound travels west two miles to junction U.S. 1 (Washington Street) before crossing the Rhode Island state line at Abbott Run Valley. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Six lanes of Interstate 95 travel underneath the travel lanes of Interstate 295 & Cancelled Interstate 895 at Exit 4. Exit 4 carries travelers west nine miles to junction Rhode Island 146 (Eddie Dowling Highway) near Woonsocket and 19 miles to U.S. 6 (Hartford Avenue) at Johnston. Interstate 95 continues south four miles to Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
Interstate 95 leaves its interchange with Massachusetts 123 (South Avenue) and approaches the full-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 295 (Exit 4). Interstate 295 begins and travels west from the upcoming junction toward North Attleboro and Woonsocket. Photo taken 06/26/05.
One half mile south of the Exit 4 loop ramp onto Interstate 295 south. Warwick, Rhode Island represents the southern terminus of Interstate 295 at Interstate 95. Clifton Street passes over the freeway in the background. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Entering the Exit 4 interchange with Interstate 295 south and unconstructed Interstate 895 north. Although ramps are not readily visible here, they were built for Interstate 895 south from Interstate 95 north. Traffic interests to Worcester can use Interstate 295 west to Rhode Island 146 north as an alternate route to Interstate 95, Interstate 495, and Interstate 90 (Mass Pike). Photo taken 06/26/05.
Northbound at the ramp departure to Interstate 295 southbound on Interstate 95 northbound. An abandoned ramp exists ahead from unconstructed Interstate 895 north to Interstate 95 north. Interstate 95 interchanges with Interstate 495 in six miles. Interstate 295 meets U.S. 1 two miles to the west near North Attleboro. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Perspective from Interstate 295 south
Southbound begin shield posted for Interstate 295. The freeway carries six lanes of traffic through to the merge with U.S. 6 at Johnston, Rhode Island. Photo taken 06/26/05.