The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has announced that it will post the Cove Bridge (#495) in Portsmouth at 10 tons. This means that vehicles over 10 tons will no longer be able to cross the bridge. Signs will be put in place by the end of the day, Thursday, May 15, 2008.
Built in 1961, the bridge carries Hummocks Point Road over a tidal inlet in the Island Park section of Portsmouth. Serving primarily local traffic, the bridge has an average daily traffic count of 2,100 vehicles per day.
RIDOT inspects all of its bridges once every two years. The latest inspection and load rating analysis for the Cove Bridge showed some areas of deterioration in its concrete beams. This recent inspection prompted RIDOT to set its weight limit at 10 tons. Due to this posting, RIDOT will increase the frequency of its inspection process for this bridge.
All passenger vehicles (cars, pick up trucks, SUVs, vans) are permitted to pass over the bridge. With the new weight restriction, all trucks and school buses will need to seek alternate routes. Vehicles in excess of 10 tons seeking access to the Island Park Business District should use Exit 2 off of Route 24 to Boyds Lane. Drivers unsure of the weight of their vehicles should consult their registration, which lists the vehicle’s gross weight.
Motorists with concerns or questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.