The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it has concluded pile driving operations on the Sakonnet River Bridge project in Tiverton and Portsmouth. The last round of pile driving concluded on Tuesday, and positive test results available today on the success of that operation mean that the Department can conclude this phase of the bridge project.
“We appreciate the patience of the residents and business owners near the bridge and apologize for the noise and disruption the pile driving operations caused,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We are excited to reach this milestone thanks to the efforts of our contractor, Cardi Corporation, as we continue replacing this valuable transportation link to Aquidneck Island.”
RIDOT broke ground on the bridge replacement project in April 2009. The $163.7 million contract with Cardi Corporation for the construction of the new bridge is the largest single contract in RIDOT’s history. The Department anticipates the new bridge to be open to traffic in Spring 2012, however, the contract with Cardi Corporation includes an early incentive clause which could result in the bridge opening to traffic earlier.
Pile driving was necessary to set large steel piles into the river bottom. Upon these piles, driven in various patterns and to varying depths, RIDOT will build the concrete piers that will support the new bridge. Nearly 500 piles were driven in the past year, including 30 large cylindrical pipe piles that were driven to more than 200 feet below the river bottom.
An estimated 40,000 vehicles per day cross the Sakonnet River Bridge, which carries Route 24 between Portsmouth and Tiverton. The bridge currently has an 18-ton weight limit, requiring truck traffic to and from the Aquidneck Island communities of Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth to seek alternate routes – often resulting in a detour up to 30 miles long.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 222-1362 x. 4007