The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it has reopened the Pawtucket Avenue Bridge in East Providence approximately five weeks ahead of schedule. The bridge is located between Warren Avenue and Grosvenor Avenue and carries 23,000 vehicles per day on Pawtucket Avenue over the I-195 corridor. It is one of the most heavily traveled bridges in East Providence.
Through close coordination with its contractor, RIDOT's Project Management team was able to compress the expected work schedule in all phases. Demolition activities, which required the bridge to be closed and lanes to be reduced and shifted on the highway below were reduced from four weekend closure to three. And the installation of the beams for the new bridge - also expected to take place over another set of four weekend closures - were done during overnight hours with only brief traffic stoppages as each piece was set into place. Overall, eight full weekend closures were reduced to just three. Other recommendations proposed and implemented by the Project Management Team limited the number of lane closures on I-195 and on- and off-ramps. This included a proposed two-month closure of one lane of I-195 West under the bridge. These decisions improved safety and aided the movement of traffic during the most restrictive of closures.
"I want to commend the Project Management team on their work and their initiative, to not just operate under the schedule they were given but to consistently work toward improving the construction process and get this bridge back into service in the shortest amount of time possible," Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. "RIDOT has adopted this model of construction management and project delivery - an industry best-practice - for this very reason, to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget, or better. And this project is a perfect example of how the new RIDOT is successful in using the project management model."
To complete the work as quickly as possible and minimize impact to motorists, pedestrians and area businesses, the Department utilized accelerated bridge construction methods with the intention of replacing the bridge in just four months. With traditional construction methods, it would have taken two years to complete the work.
Along with getting the bridge open more than a month earlier than expected, the phase of the project to remove lane shifts on I-195 and the overall project is running ahead of schedule. Originally built in 1959, the Pawtucket Avenue Bridge was one of Rhode Island's many structurally deficient bridges that is being replaced through the RhodeWorks program. Over a 10-year period, RIDOT will repair 150 structurally deficient bridges and repair another 500 bridges to keep them from becoming structurally deficient with the goal of meeting federal bridge sufficiency standards by 2025.
RhodeWorks represents 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.