The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will temporarily change the traffic patterns on Route 24 near the Sakonnet River Bridge in Tiverton. This is scheduled to begin tonight, Thursday, May 31, 2012 with the new patterns finalized by Tuesday, June 5.
This first change will affect motorists on Route 24 South with both lanes shifted to the right and the right shoulder closed by Friday morning, June 1. Motorists on Route 24 North will encounter a split-lane configuration near Exit 5 (Route 138, Main Road) by Tuesday, June 5, with overnight construction planned on Sunday, June 3 and Monday, June 4 for establishment of the new northbound traffic pattern. RIDOT recommends that motorists reduce speed and drive with caution through the work zone.
These changes are needed to allow construction to proceed on the approach roads for the new Sakonnet River Bridge, which is being built just south of the old Sakonnet River Bridge. Before RIDOT can begin shifting traffic to the new span, construction is needed on Route 24 to align the highway with the new bridge.
The new traffic pattern will be in place for six to eight weeks with minor lane shifts possible during this period. It is expected that in late summer, RIDOT will be able to shift all traffic on Route 24 North to the new bridge. Construction will then continue and Route 24 South traffic will shift to the new bridge later in 2012.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
Through a $163.7 million contract with Cardi Corporation, RIDOT is completely replacing the Sakonnet River Bridge, which is structurally deficient and carries an 18-ton weight limit. As segments of Route 24 are shifted to the new span, the weight limit will be lifted.
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 Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362, Ext. 4007