Interstate 295 serves as a western bypass of Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The freeway loop had also been proposed to extend east and southward from the north end at Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Rhode Island DOT renumbered all interchanges along Interstate 295 from I-95 at Warwick north to the Massachusetts border at Cumberland. Costing $340,000, the resigning ran from north to south over a two week period starting on November 27, 2017.1 The freeway along Route 146 was scheduled to be resigned in 2018, adding mileage based exit numbers to its previously unnumbered interchange array. The Route 146 project started in Summer 2019 and was completed by the end of the year. All remaining freeways using the sequential system were to be converted by 2020.2 See the Rhode Island Highway Exit Renumbering Program web page for more details.
Interstate 295 is part of High Priority Corridor 60: Providence Beltline Corridor.
Interstate 295 was approved as part of the Interstate Urban Numerology by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on November 13, 1958. I-295 was planned in 1960, with construction commencing in 1965. Work on the freeway finished in June 1975.3
Dan Moraseski writes that current Interstate 295 was always planned as I-295. The beltway east of I-95 was later changed to Interstate 895 though, perhaps when transportation officials realized it would not extend straight across I-95 at the south intersection.
The original plan for the beltway in Rhode Island originated along Route 37, likely at Interstate 295, and took the route east across the Providence River. From there the loop turned north along the East Shore Expressway to Route 114 and further to the north end of I-295. The Narragansett Bay Crossing was eventually approved in December 1968.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) requested a substitution from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the route of I-895 in a letter dated August 23, 1973. Withdrawn was the 12 mile long route of I-895 east from I-295 in Cranston across Narragansett Bay to Warren. Substituted in its place was a 40 mile long route further south, from Interstate 95 in Richmond easterly to Newport and northerly to Warren, roughly along Route 138 and Multi State Route 136 to I-195. This was approved by the FHWA on January 17, 1974 under authorization of section 103(e)(2) of title 23, U.S. Code (Hower-Cramer Act). RIDOT requested the substitution to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on March 6, 1974.
A $6 million project realigned the ramp from Interstate 95 south to I-295 south in Attleboro to both improve geometric deficiencies and reduce truck roll overs. The project replaced the original ramp designed to accommodate a loop ramp from unconstructed I-895 north to I-95 south. Work commenced in July 2015 and was completed in Spring 2017.4,5