It wasn't just any pothole.
It was more like a void, measuring four feet long and four feet wide. And it caused a traffic jam for miles.
Construction crews spent time late Thursday evening filling in the giant pothole, which opened up on Intersate 195.
The hole was the reason for snarled traffic around Providence Wednesday afternoon and evening. The state Department of Transportation says the problem is now fixed.
If yours was one of the hundreds of cars caught in the highway gridlock, here's what happened. DOT staff discovered the hole, on I-195 near East Providence, just before rush hour began. Upon further inspection, crews realized it was a doozy.
“In the area itself, even when they got done digging it out and patching it, it was probably about four feet by four feet,” DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin said. “We felt we needed to take immediate action.”
Immediate action meant not waiting until after the rush hour traffic cleared to fix the roadway. DOT crews patched the hole in about two hours, but not before traffic backed up from Pawtucket to Warwick.
“You lose two-thirds of the capacity of the highway at rush hour; it’s going to create severe traffic problems,” said St. Martin. “Which is one of the reasons all our road work that we schedule on the interstate is predominately at night.”