Graves Of Some Who Died At RI Institutions Lie Under Highway


A vehicle passes beneath state Route 37, in Cranston, R.I., early Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Officials say the highway was built over up to 1,000 graves containing the remains of people who died in state institutions in the late 1800s and early 1900s when it was constructed in the 1960s. (AP Photo/William J. Kole)

RHODE ISLAND — The thousands of drivers who use a Rhode Island highway on their way to work every day probably have no idea they are passing over the graves of some people who died in the late 1800s and early 1900s at state institutions.

The location of the graves beneath the highway in Cranston, Rhode Island, was publicized in a WPRI-TV story about a woman searching for the gravesite for her great-great-grandfather.

Route 37 was built in the 1960s over part of the institution cemetery.

The state DOT says 1,000 of the graves should have been moved.

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