The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be closing the historic Clarence L. Hussey Memorial Bridge in Wickford village in North Kingstown. Using a phased rehabilitation and restoration process overseen by RIDOT's new project management approach for all its projects, the bridge will be temporarily closed to all traffic to expedite repairs and complete the work prior to next winter.
This structurally deficient bridge, which carries approximately 13,636 vehicles per day on Route 1A (Boston Neck Road) over Wickford Cove, is scheduled to close on Friday, April 1. To minimize the impact to the community and tourism in the busy summer months, RIDOT will reopen the bridge by June 25. A second closure period will follow beginning September 6, reopening again by November 16. During non-closure periods, crews will be working on activities that do not affect vehicular or pedestrian traffic, such as water work under the bridge. During the project, pedestrians will be allowed to cross over the bridge and boats to pass underneath. There may be brief periods when access is temporarily limited for safety considerations.
In order to further lessen possible impacts, the Department's new industry standard project management method will be employed. This approach assigns a project manager who is responsible for ensuring that all milestones are being met for the state and its taxpayers, delivering the project on time, on budget and on scope.
"We thank the community for their patience and any inconvenience during the upcoming bridge closure," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said, "but they can feel confident our new management and oversight of projects like this will ensure a smooth process and deliver the project with high quality results."
Designed by the first government-appointed bridge engineer, Clarence Loring Hussey, the bridge, which dates back to 1925, is a unique and significant structure that is part of the Wickford National Register Historic District. Through its rehabilitation, being completed under a $1.7 million contract, with a budget contingency of $197,000, RIDOT is working to maintain as much of the historical elements as possible, including the concrete through arch and its railings. All steel components above the water surface will be painted a graphite color to match the original, and all concrete surfaces will receive a special mineral coating that is designed to better withstand the natural elements. There will also be pedestrian-specific safety enhancements made, including sidewalk, roadway, and railing repairs.
Bridge detours are available at http://www.dot.ri.gov/detourmaps. To sign up for weekly updates on this or other RIDOT projects around the state, contact email@example.com. Visit www.dot.ri.gov or follow RIDOTnews on Facebook or Twitter for timely information on construction projects and traffic conditions.
Contact: Charles St. Martin (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4007