The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is set to replace the Barton Corner Bridge, which carries I-95 over Route 2 on the Warwick/West Warwick town line, beginning later this month. The operation uses accelerated bridge construction techniques to complete the work in an 11-day period. The new bridges (north and southbound) are scheduled to be in place by Labor Day.
"Strengthening our transportation infrastructure has been a cornerstone of my administration, and I am proud to see Rhode Island taking such an innovative step forward with this project," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "Investing in our infrastructure is critical to continuing our economic recovery as a state as well as improving quality of life for Rhode Islanders."
Through a $6.4 million contract with D'Ambra Construction, the new Barton Corner Bridge is currently being built in two halves on land adjacent to the highway on Route 2. Once construction is complete, self-propelled modular transporters will be used to move the 440-ton bridges into their final placement on I-95. In 2006, these transporters were used to move the Iway Bridge onto barges at the Quonset Business Park before it was floated up Narragansett Bay to Providence.
"We are proud to be working with D'Ambra to achieve this first for Rhode Island," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "As part of our interstate system, Barton Corner Bridge is an important asset. The approach taken with its replacement allows us to build a quality bridge that will last for generations to come while significantly minimizing disruption to traffic and to the surrounding community during construction."
Accelerating the construction process allows the bridge to be replaced in one season versus two if conventional construction methods were used; this not only has a cost benefit but also a safety and environmental benefit. Traditional construction methods would have necessitated near daily lane closures on the interstate and Route 2 throughout the project. While some traffic congestion and delays are expected during replacement of the Barton Corner Bridge, precautions are being taken to keep traffic and business impacts to a minimum. Travel along I-95 will be maintained at all times - as will access to all Route 2 businesses.
Travel impacts over the 11-day period include:
Monday, August 18: Closure of the on-ramp from Route 2 North to I-95 South for duration of period. During this closure, access to I-95 South from Route 2 North will be available using the current on-ramp from Route 2 South. A temporary traffic signal will be installed to safely guide motorists through this temporary traffic configuration. Partial closure of Exit 8 (I-95 South to Route 2 North). The on-ramp from Route 2 South to I-95 South and the off-ramp from I-95 North to Route 2 South (Exit 8A) will remain open at all times.
Tuesday, August 19: Closure of Route 2 (from Division Street to just south of James P. Murphy Industrial Highway) - 10 p.m. through the morning commute on Wednesday - for bridge demolition.
Friday, August 22: Closure of Route 2 (from Division Street to just south of James P. Murphy Industrial Highway) - noon through the afternoon commute - for the northbound bridge replacement. Media interested in covering the bridge move should contact Rose Amoros at 222-1362, Ext. 4450 or 261-2159 to arrange for a safe viewing location.
Saturday, August 23: Northbound traffic shifted onto the new bridge.
Sunday, August 24: Closure of Route 2 (from Division Street to just south of James P. Murphy Industrial Highway) - 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. - for bridge demolition. Route 2 will reopen with one lane of travel in each direction.
Tuesday, August 26: Closure of Route 2 (from Division Street to just south of James P. Murphy Industrial Highway) - 9 p.m. through 6 a.m. Wednesday - for the southbound bridge replacement. Media interested in covering the bridge move should contact Rose Amoros at 222-1362, Ext. 4450 or 261-2159 to arrange for a safe viewing location.
Thursday, August 28: Southbound traffic shifted onto the new bridge. Ramps reopen.
Construction activities are weather-dependent. Adjustments to the schedule, if necessary, will be posted to www.dot.ri.gov/BartonCorner. Signed detours will be in place during all closures. Detour maps are also available online. When detours are in place, road signage and police details will help direct travelers to their destination.
For safety purposes, the public is discouraged from watching the bridge moves, which are slow-moving processes that take several hours, from the side of the highway or along Route 2. Live camera feeds will be available online to ensure people can take part in this historic event.
The public will be informed in advance of traffic changes in the area. Alerts will be posted to messages boards along the highway, beginning on Tuesday, August 12. Updates will also be posted to Facebook (www.facebook.com/RIDOTNews) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/RIDOTNews).
The Barton Corner Bridge carries I-95 over Route 2 - one of Rhode Island's busiest commercial corridors - in addition to providing access to Route 4. On average, 72,000 vehicles cross it daily. The bridge was originally built in 1958 and underwent some rehabilitation in 1976. To avoid reducing its carrying capacity, a steel shoring system was added in 2010 to support the bridge. The bridge is showing signs of advanced deterioration, necessitating its complete replacement. In addition, Route 2 in this area serves as a main trucking route for Quonset; in recent years, the Barton Corner Bridge has been struck by several oversized vehicles, resulting in significant damage to its steel beams. The new bridge will provide for eight additional inches of clearance for these larger vehicles.
Contact: Rose Amoros (O):401-222-1362 x4450 (C):401-261-2159 Rose.Amoros@dot.ri.gov