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Chafee, RIDOT Stress Importance of Investing in State's Bridges at Union Avenue Bridge Replacement Project in Providence

This afternoon, atop the new Union Avenue Bridge deck in the City of Providence, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee joined Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael P. Lewis to announce that the Union Avenue Bridge is slated to reopen to traffic this Fall. It is the first project in preparation for the major rehabilitation of Routes 6 and 10, and one of several upcoming safety improvements along this corridor, including new signing and new cable guardrail.

The event also served to reiterate the importance of investing in our State’s transportation infrastructure to help extend the service life of our roads and bridges, such as this one.

“With a dedicated funding source for transportation projects, which I have proposed in my budget, Rhode Island can strategically invest in maintenance and improvements to extend the life of our roads and bridges,” Governor Chafee said. “The structural deterioration of this bridge is a perfect example of our state’s failure to perform the basic upkeep necessary to avoid closures and major overhauls. We must stop borrowing to pay for transportation projects and we must make infrastructure maintenance, improvement, and planning a priority.”

The original Union Avenue Bridge was built in 1958 and carried Union Avenue over Route 10 in Providence. It was closed in June 2010 due to its structural deterioration. The new Union Avenue Bridge will feature two spans of steel with an exposed concrete deck to replace the former four-span concrete bridge. It will have four, 12 foot travel lanes (two in each direction) with two 5.9 foot sidewalks and a four foot raised median. Once reopened, it will reconnect Providence’s West End and Silver Lake neighborhoods, as well as the cities of Providence and Cranston.

“Recognizing the inconvenience of the bridge’s closure to the local businesses and residents in the area we have been working as quickly as possible to reopen it,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Reconnecting neighborhoods, while reestablishing the vital link between Providence and Cranston, has been our goal all along.”

-Since the bridge’s closure, all of the substructure (abutments and pier) work has been completed. In late winter, structural steel beams were set, and in March, crews began forming the bridge deck. In April, the reinforcing steel was installed, and in early May, the concrete deck for the bridge was placed. Road work on Route 10 and the Union Avenue ramps is scheduled to start the first week in June.

In addition, RIDOT will rebuild the ramps on Union Avenue to connect to the new bridge, make drainage improvements, replace the curbing and replace the pavement surface on Route 10 in the vicinity of the bridge.

Project completion is scheduled before the end of the year through an $8.1 million contract with Aetna Bridge of Pawtucket.

Contact: Heidi Gudmundson (401) 222-1362 x. 4009

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation

Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov

Release date: 06-01-2011

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