The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that the Natick Bridge that carries East Avenue over the Pawtuxet River between Warwick and West Warwick is scheduled to reopen to traffic – barring unforeseen conditions – on Monday, August 16, 2010. The bridge, with an average daily traffic count of 14,500, had been closed since it was damaged during the historic flooding in March of this year.
“We recognize the hardship this bridge’s closure due to the flood damage has posed to the businesses and residents in the area,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Reestablishing the vital link between these two communities was important to everyone involved.”
“Natick was a neighborhood that was particularly hard-hit during the floods and the bridge reopening is another important milestone as our community continues to rebuild,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. “This will hopefully restore a sense of day-to-day normalcy for area residents and businesses as they work to recover from the flood. I appreciate RIDOT making this project a priority and thank residents and business owners for their patience.”
RIDOT anticipated that it would take several more weeks to complete the work, but the Department was able to accelerate the final repairs to the bridge and reopen it early next week.
The Natick Bridge, a concrete arch bridge with two spans, dates back to the early 1900s. The March floodwaters submerged the entire bridge and the surrounding area and caused washouts and voids. The Department performed numerous repairs to the bridge’s structure by adding steel, gravel, concrete and asphalt patches to fix the damage.
Although the bridge is safe for travel, it will be posted at 3 tons and the weight limit will remain until the bridge can be replaced. It is anticipated that the Natick Bridge Replacement Project will be advertised for construction in January 2012. The project completion is currently slated for 2014.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007