The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced an upcoming temporary traffic pattern for a section of Route 112 on the Richmond/Charlestown line that will involve a full-time lane closure for approximately three years.
RIDOT is replacing the Carolina Bridges, a series of three 70-year-old bridges spanning the Pawcatuck River and related old mill waterways. The structures are structurally deficient and have deteriorated to the point where RIDOT had to post weight limits to restrict heavy truck traffic.
The bridges are located between Butter Lane in Charlestown and Carolina Mill Lane in Richmond, a short section of Route 112 that lies about halfway between Route 2 and Route 138. The road carries approximately 5,000 vehicles per day.
As part of ongoing construction RIDOT will implement a single-lane alternating traffic pattern (in which each direction of travel takes turns crossing the bridges), effective Monday, October 16. This requires closure of the southbound travel lane to begin work on removing the decks of the bridges on that side of the road. Two-way traffic will be maintained with the single-lane alternating traffic pattern 24 hours a day.
RIDOT is installing temporary traffic signals to control the temporary traffic pattern. These signals have been equipped with sensors to detect the presence of vehicles waiting at the lights to help reduce wait times and keep traffic moving. However, motorists can expect delays, especially during peak travel periods.
The southbound lane will remain closed for approximately one and a half years. After that, RIDOT will shift traffic to the newly constructed portion of the bridge and begin work on the half of the bridges that carry the northbound lane. That phase also will last about 18 months, after which time the bridge will be reopened to traffic.
All schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. RIDOT is limited to working in the river during low-flow periods from July 1 through October 31 each year, and unexpected changes in river levels could further limit time available to work on the bridge's supporting structures. Final completion of the $9.4 million project is scheduled for Spring 2021.
The replacement of the Carolina Bridges was made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.