The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that it has started assembling the deck for the first span of the new Pawtucket River Bridge project. The deck for this bridge will be built entirely with pre-cast components, which will allow the Department's contactor to complete the bridge more quickly than traditional concrete pouring methods.
This pace of construction may also allow this portion of the bridge to open to traffic by late Spring 2012. This section of the bridge will temporarily carry traffic for I-95 North, and will allow RIDOT to lift the 18-ton weight limit for northbound truck traffic. All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
Replacement of the Pawtucket River Bridge is a high priority for RIDOT. By the end of 2012, RIDOT anticipates shifting all traffic to the new structures and eliminating the current 18-ton weight restriction for northbound and southbound traffic on I-95. The entire project is scheduled to conclude in mid-2013.
"We are working aggressively with our contactor to accelerate the replacement of this vital highway link," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "In the span of just two years, we will have opened seven out of 10 bridges being built as part of this project."
Building the bridge in phases will allow RIDOT to complete the reconstruction of the Pawtucket River Bridge with minimal impact to highway traffic and no reduction in travel lanes throughout the life of the project. The Department has worked closely with the City of Pawtucket to examine any wear and tear to city streets as a result of local truck detours and make repairs as needed.
Those 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 social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007