The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is closing the Austin Farm Bridge in North Kingstown this afternoon. The bridge carries Route 1 North (Post Road) over the Hunt River near the Route 402 (Frenchtown Road) intersection.
A recent inspection of this bridge found damage related to the intense flooding conditions from this past March with some areas of the river bottom around the bridge’s abutments undermined by the flood’s swift currents. RIDOT will work through the weekend to repair the bridge with the goal of reopening it on Monday.
RIDOT will shift northbound traffic to the southbound lanes of Route 1. This will allow traffic to pass through the intersection. However, in moving northbound traffic to the southbound lanes, there will only be one lane of travel in each direction on Route 1 instead of two. RIDOT has arranged for police officers to direct traffic through the area, but the loss of through lanes and turning lanes will lead to congestion. Motorists are advised to plan additional travel time through this area this weekend or seek alternate routes for travel between North Kingstown and East Greenwich.
This bridge – along with all spans across major rivers in Rhode Island – was continuously monitored during the floods in March for any sign of deterioration. The bridge showed no signs of deterioration at that time or as the flood waters receded.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007