The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it is closing two rural bridges, one in northern Rhode Island in Cumberland and another in the South County village of Wyoming. Recent inspection of both bridges, which were posted for reduced weight limits, revealed deterioration significant enough to prompt RIDOT to close them. Additionally, RIDOT will be shifting lanes on a bridge in Providence, also due to the findings of a recent inspection.
“Safety is our top priority with Rhode Island’s bridges,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “While we regret any inconvenience these closings and restrictions may cause, we must institute these changes until repairs can be made.”
There are actually two bridges, one after the other in Wyoming, which carry Bridge Street over the Wood River on the Hopkinton-Richmond line. The timber bridges were built in 1932 and rehabilitated in 1960. The deteriorated conditions were observed in the northernmost bridge, which is in Hopkinton, but both will be closed because they are so close together. RIDOT has scheduled this closure to take place today.
RIDOT had already planned to close the Wyoming Bridges later this year and begin a project to replace the bridges. RIDOT anticipates the work will begin in mid 2009 and take approximately two years to complete. Motorists will be directed to use a detour of about 1 mile, using Main Street and Bank Street.
The $2.3 million project will be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The other bridge RIDOT is closing is called the Arnold Mills Bridge in Cumberland, which carries Sneech Pond Road over Abbott Run, a stream leading from the nearby Pawtucket and Arnold Mills reservoirs. The timber bridge was built in 1886 and reconstructed in 1985. This closure is scheduled for tomorrow.
The Arnold Mills Bridge has been posted at 3 tons. Sneech Pond Road is short, services a handful of residential properties, and connects on both ends to Nate Whipple Highway (Route 120). At this time, RIDOT does not have an estimated timetable for repairs to this bridge.
This week RIDOT also anticipates placing barrier on the Randall Street Bridge, which carries Randall Street over the Moshassuck River in Providence. A recent inspection found deterioration on the northernmost beams, and RIDOT will be placing barrier to shift traffic away from this beam. Motorists will find narrowed and shifted lanes at this bridge. The restriction is scheduled to be established tomorrow. RIDOT plans to eventually replace this bridge.
All closure and restriction schedules are subject to change and can be impacted by adverse weather. The work will be performed by RIDOT’s Highway and Bridge Maintenance division.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007