The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it will close a section of Pleasant Street in Pawtucket tonight, Monday, February 14, 2011 as part of the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project. This section of road will remain closed for approximately three years.
Due to the level of construction associated with building the new Pawtucket River Bridge, RIDOT must close Pleasant Street at the I-95 overpass, located between Division Street and Jenks Way. Signed detours will be established. Access to local businesses will be maintained.
This closure is one of many changes around the Pawtucket River Bridge motorists can expect during the bridge replacement project. RIDOT strongly encourages motorists to become familiar with the detour routes before they go into effect.
Partly due to the number of one-way streets in the area, the detour routes require several turns to get around closed areas. RIDOT will post turn-by-turn directions and detour maps on its website at www.dot.ri.gov. Motorists may encounter differing detour routes during this transition period due to roadwork on nearby Grace Street. The detours will not impact existing local detours for truck traffic.
For the Pleasant Street closure, the following long-term detours will be in effect:
Pleasant Street Northbound: Turn left onto Grace Street and then take the next right onto George Street, passing over I-95. Turn right onto East Avenue and follow to the intersection with Pleasant Street.
Pleasant Street Southbound: Turn left onto Jenks Way, and then turn left onto Roosevelt Avenue. Turn left onto Main Street and then take the first right onto High Street. At the intersection with Exchange Street, turn left. Follow Exchange Street (which becomes Goff Avenue) and take a left onto Dexter Street. Follow Dexter Street (which becomes Park Place West, then Park Place, then George Street), pass over I-95, and turn left onto Grace Street and follow to the intersection with Pleasant Street.
In early December, RIDOT closed a portion of Taft Street due to the I-95 bridge replacement project. The closure of Pleasant Street affects the detour routes that have been in effect for the past two months. The new detour routes are as follows:
Taft Street Northbound: Turn left on Tower Street and then turn right on East Avenue. Immediately after turning onto East Avenue, bear left at the split onto George Street. Follow George Street over I-95 and continue onto Park Place. Turn right onto East Avenue, turn right onto Pleasant Street, and then turn left onto Jenks Way and follow to intersection with Taft Street.
Taft Street Southbound: Turn right onto Jenks Way, and then turn right onto Pleasant Street (which becomes East Avenue, and then High Street). At the intersection with Exchange Street, turn left. Follow Exchange Street (which becomes Goff Avenue) and take a left onto Dexter Street. Follow Dexter Street (which becomes Park Place West, then Park Place, then George Street), pass over I-95, and turn left onto Grace Street. Turn right onto Pleasant Street and then turn left onto Spencer Street and follow to intersection with Taft Street.
Replacement of the Pawtucket River Bridge is a high priority for the Department. Through an $81 million contract with S&R Corporation/Pihl., Inc., RIDOT will replace the Pawtucket River Bridge. The bridge is composed of two structures that carry I-95 over the Seekonk River.
The project is scheduled for completion in Summer 2013. Enough construction should be completed by Spring 2012, however, so the Department can shift traffic to new structures and eliminate the bridge’s 18-ton weight limit. RIDOT has an early incentive clause with its contractor, with a maximum bonus of $4.5 million, which could result in the weight limit being lifted even sooner.
The contract will result in the construction of three new structures, replacing each bridge carrying northbound and southbound on I-95, and building another bridge to help carry highway traffic during phased construction. This third bridge will be permanent, and will carry on- and off-ramps to George and School Streets when the project is finished.
This construction method will allow the Department to replace the Pawtucket River Bridge as quickly as possible with no loss of travel lanes on I-95. The extent of the work, however, will affect travel on city streets in Pawtucket.
Another series of road closures are planned this spring as RIDOT rehabilitates other bridges near the highway that are being addressed under this contract.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
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