The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today held a ceremony with local officials to celebrate the early opening of the Great Island Bridge in Narragansett. The project reached substantial completion this month, eight months ahead of its original completion date. RIDOT also completed the bridge for a final cost of $11.2 million, $700,000 under budget.
"Great Island Bridge is the major access to the summer and permanent homes on Great Island. From Great Island, residents and visitors can travel easily to beaches, restaurants, and the Block Island ferry. Today we can accommodate all vehicles in a safe and timely way," said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr.
The bridge was built in two phases and used a temporary traffic signal so the structure could remain open to vehicles and pedestrians throughout construction. The new bridge comprises three spans of precast concrete box beams with a cast-in-place concrete deck and sidewalks. Other amenities include granite curbing, metal pedestrian railing and vehicular guardrail, and decorative lighting.
Since September 2014, RIDOT had been working to replace the 180-foot long structure that is the only point of access to Great Island, located in the fishing village of Galilee. Originally constructed in 1959, the Great Island Bridge had a posted weight limit for nearly 20 years.
The bridge was also classified as structurally deficient in 2012, and both the weight limit and deficiency classification were lifted in November 2015 as part of this reconstruction. It reopened to two-way traffic on November 1.
Contact: Charles St. Martin (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4007