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Iway bridge float nominated for national award: RIDOT received regional Innovative Management Award


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that the Iway project has earned national recognition for its unique approach in building the new Providence River Bridge by assembling it offsite and “floating” it up Narragansett Bay to Providence.

RIDOT placed first among member DOTs in The Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials, which represents all six New England States, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. There will be three more regional competitions to determine finalists for the America’s Transportation Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

The competition celebrates excellence in transportation projects throughout the country in the categories of On Time, On Budget, and Innovative Management. The latter of these, for which RIDOT was recognized, “recognizes new policies or procedures and creative transportation solutions that enhance the effective movement of people, goods and services; increase transportation efficiency and choices; improve safety, accessibility and aid traffic management; and enhance community life.”

This statement epitomizes the Iway project and RIDOT’s approach to construct the $610 million project as efficiently as possible. The new Providence River Bridge was no exception.

“The Department is extremely proud of the Iway project and this recognition,” RIDOT Director Michael Lewis said. “The innovative approach in building the bridge offsite and floating it to Providence was the safest, most efficient means of constructing it. It was a great feat of engineering.”

The 24 winning entries at the regional level will be submitted to the national competition with one winner selected from each category for both large (over $200 million) and small (less than $200 million) projects. One winner will be selected in each category. In addition, a Grand Prize will be awarded from those final six entries. A substantial monetary award will be presented to the winning State Department of Transportation for donation to a university of its choice to assist a student pursuing a graduate degree in transportation.

In August 2006, RIDOT orchestrated a series of events to install the 400-foot center span for the bridge. The bridge float captured the attention of Rhode Islanders from all over the state who watched on television and read in newspapers about the entire process of raising the bridge, placing it on Self-Propelled Modular Transporters, rolling it onto two large barges, and floating it up the Bay. The day of the float, thousands of people lined the shores of the Bay to witness history and watch the bridge sail by. The bridge float also attracted the attention of the History Channel, which produced a documentary on the Iway for its “Mega Movers” series.

Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450


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Department or agency: Department of Transportation