The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will reopen the center channel under the old Sakonnet River Bridge this weekend. RIDOT will move construction barges from the center channel by 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, October 1, 2011. The U.S. Coast Guard expects to have all navigational markers in place by Sunday, October 2, restoring boat traffic under the bridge.
RIDOT closed the center channel under the bridge on September 10 due to the presence of numerous barges and cranes that were used to set steel beams for the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The Coast Guard established a temporary channel to allow passage of most vessels during this phase of construction.
The setting of steel beams over the center channel was completed approximately one week earlier than expected. RIDOT will continue setting steel beams for the new bridge, working from east to west. By late November, all steel beams should be installed on the new bridge.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT's Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 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.