The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is moving into the second phase of a $3.3 million repair project to the Henderson Bridge, often called the “Red Bridge,” in Providence. The span connects Waterman Street and South Angell Street on Providence’s East Side with Massasoit Avenue in East Providence.
Overnight construction tonight June 9, 2009, will involve the movement of concrete barrier on the Henderson Bridge eastbound. The new traffic pattern will be in place tomorrow, June 10.
Traffic will be directed to use the right travel lane when the left lane is closed. A similar operation is planned to take place in two weeks on the Henderson Bridge westbound. The bridge’s original left lanes will remain closed permanently.
The project involves steel repair, replacement of bridge joints, a new drainage system and other improvements with the goal of extending the service life of the bridge. The project also will establish well-marked bicycle lanes for both the east and west bound movements. The bridge has long been a popular route for cyclists and pedestrians. RIDOT anticipates the work to be complete this fall.
In this next phase of construction, cyclists and pedestrians will encounter changes from the pattern that was instituted when the project began last year. The primary change for motorists will be the reopening of the ramp from the Henderson Bridge eastbound to Massasoit Avenue in East Providence.
The sidewalk on the bridge carrying westbound traffic will close. All pedestrian and bicycle riders will travel on the Henderson Bridge eastbound. Cyclists heading west toward Providence will be required to dismount from their bikes and use the eastbound bridge’s sidewalk. They can access this sidewalk at the end of the off-ramp from the Henderson Bridge to Massasoit Avenue in East Providence.
Cyclists heading east toward East Providence will be directed to use the shoulder area on the eastbound bridge, which will be the future bike lane. RIDOT is also installing bike plates on the bridge’s expansion joints. These cover the gaps in the bridge joint and prevent bicycle tires from getting snagged in the joint.
A map of the changes for cyclists is posted on the BikeRI section of RIDOT’s website at: www.dot.ri.gov/bikeri/maps/hendersondetour-new.jpg.
The following is a summary of the changes taking place this week:
Henderson Bridge Eastbound:
• Right travel lane opens. Left lane closed.
• South sidewalk opens. North sidewalk closes.
• Massasoit Ave. exit southbound will reopen.
Please see www.dot.ri.gov/bikeri to view map of changes.
Contact: Charles St. Martin, 401-222-1362 x4007