Weight limit set at 3 tons with alternating traffic pattern established
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it has reduced the weight limit for Shippee Bridge in Burrillville to 3 tons. This bridge carries Sherman Farm Road (Route 98) in the village of Harrisville, over the Nipmuc River. A previously established detour for trucks and heavy vehicles will remain in effect to bypass the bridge. The bridge was posted with a 5-ton weight limit.
During this new restriction, traffic on the bridge will be restricted to one-way alternating passage for northbound and southbound traffic. RIDOT will post stop signs on both ends of the bridge and a motorist encountering an oncoming vehicle on the bridge will need to wait for traffic to clear before he or she proceeds onto the bridge.
“The Department apologizes for any inconvenience this restriction may cause,” RIDOT Director Jerome F. Williams said. “However this is a necessary step to preserve the integrity of the bridge until repairs can be made. Similar to the Peace Dale Stone Arch Bridge repair last year, we will expedite the repairs as much as possible.”
Inspections of the bridge and a recent load rating analysis found further deterioration to bridge components and a need to lower the weight restriction. RIDOT intends to begin a bridge repair project as soon as possible. Once that is completed, the weight restriction should be eased to approximately 15 tons.
With the new weight restriction, all trucks will need to make use of the detour. Most passenger vehicles will be able to pass over the bridge, but larger pick-up trucks and SUVs may not. Drivers unsure of the weight of their vehicles should consult their registration, which lists the vehicle’s gross weight.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007