The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today unveiled a new vehicle that will greatly increase the Department's ability to maintain its bridges with regular cleanings to remove road salts, sand and other debris.
RIDOT purchased a fleet of six of these tanker trucks, which are outfitted with a series of high pressure water nozzles that allow the operator to clean the sides and deck of a bridge in a moving operation, generally at 5-10 mph. On average, the trucks are capable of cleaning five to six bridges a day, depending on their size. They also will significantly reduce the time needed to close a travel lane for maintenance.
"Not only are we rebuilding Rhode Island's transportation system, we are literally rebuilding RIDOT itself," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "For years the size of our maintenance staff has dwindled, and we weren't making the investments we needed to give them the right tools for the job. Now we're investing in new technology, increasing our staff and making sure we're well-equipped to properly maintain our roads and bridges."
In addition to these unique bridge washing trucks, RIDOT also purchased four bucket trucks with high-pressure wands so workers can clean the underside of bridges. The $2 million investment for these 10 vehicles is part of $26 million in maintenance equipment RIDOT has purchased to both expand the state fleet and replace outdated or inefficient older equipment.
The new bridge washing trucks are manufactured by Volvo and outfitted by Reed Systems Products, a transportation maintenance specialty company from upstate New York. Motorists not only can expect to see these vehicles on state roadways tending to Rhode Island's 1,179 bridges this year, but also can see one up close at the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Fort Adams State Park in Newport this weekend. Anderson Motors in East Providence is the local Volvo truck vendor RIDOT purchased the trucks through. The Department was asked to display one of the vehicles at the Volvo-sponsored event. The truck will be on display starting today and running through Sunday, the final day of the event.