The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is scheduled to open the Warren River Bridge to traffic during the overnight hours tomorrow, Thursday, July 30, 2009, just in time for the Friday morning commute. All schedules are weather-dependent. The Warren River Bridge, originally built in 1914, carries 22,000 vehicles per day on Route 114 over the Palmer River in the Town of Warren.
“With the initial paving and safety related work completed, the Warren River Bridge will open to traffic overnight Thursday into Friday morning,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “We still anticipate some minor traffic disruptions, however, for the next few months while we complete the approach work, electrical and lighting work, and demolition of the temporary bridge.”
The new Warren River Bridge was advertised for construction in August 2005 and work began in Spring 2006. The new concrete box beam bridge is 264 feet in length, 73 feet longer than the original bridge, and 30 feet wide, curb to curb. The new bridge consists of concrete box beams with decorative concrete panels that replicate the original, concrete arches of the previous structure. There are four spans and three piers on the new bridge as opposed to three spans and two piers on the old.
The railing system includes a pedestrian rail with concrete pylons between rail sections supporting ornamental period lighting reflecting the history of what once was on the bridge. There are also 8-foot sidewalks on the new bridge as compared to 5-foot sidewalks on the old bridge.
Through a $16 million contract with Aetna Bridge, final completion of the project is scheduled for October 2009.