The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it is closing a bridge on Route 138 in Richmond after conducting an underwater inspection of the structure. The bridge spans the Usquepaugh River close to Kenyon’s Grist Mill, between Route 2 and Route 112.
RIDOT has been conducting underwater inspections of all its bridges following the historic flooding conditions in March. An inspection of this bridge revealed that the bridge’s abutments were undermined by the swift currents during the flood. This bridge – along with all spans across major rivers in Rhode Island – was continuously monitored during the floods for any sign of deterioration. The bridge showed no visual signs of deterioration at that time or as the flood waters receded.
“Based on our findings today, we must close this bridge until repairs can be made,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause and will work quickly to expedite repairs.”
RIDOT estimates that the bridge will be closed for approximately three weeks. The Department is working with the local community to identify detour routes. In the interim, those traveling on Route 138 in South County should plan extra time for their travel and use Route 2 and Route 112 to bypass this area.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007