Lane shifts will be used; all lanes remain open during peak travel periods
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced the start of bridge rehabilitation work for the Wood River Valley Bridge, a large structure carrying I-95 over Mechanic Street and the Wood River on the Hopkinton/Richmond line. It is located about 1 mile north of Exit 2.
The $16.8 million project is one of a dozen design-build projects underway this year and next. This approach saves considerable time and allows RIDOT to deliver bridge improvements faster compared with the traditional approach of hiring separate companies to do design work and construction work. For this project, RIDOT contracted with a design-building team earlier this year to complete all steps necessary prior to breaking ground.
The initial construction activities begin the week of November 26 and will involve a shift to the right for both northbound and southbound travel on I-95. Lanes will be narrowed and shoulders will be closed.
No travel lanes will be closed during daytime hours, peak travel periods, weekends or holidays, with two lanes of travel open in both directions. Single lane closures may be needed Sunday through Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Little to no delay is expected, although RIDOT urges motorists to reduce speed and drive carefully through the work zone.
Throughout the duration of the project, traffic on Mechanic Street under the bridge will be reduced to a single-lane alternating traffic pattern, controlled by a temporary traffic signal.
The initial traffic shift will provide access to the median area of the bridge, which will be paved to accommodate future lane shifts. After approximately one month, all traffic will move to the I-95 North side of the bridge so RIDOT can begin work on the I-95 South side. In each phase, two lanes of travel in each direction will be maintained.
By Summer 2019, the traffic pattern will change again so work can begin on the I-95 North side, with traffic then shifting to the I-95 South side. The project wraps up in Fall 2019.
During the project, RIDOT will replace portions of the superstructure of this 270-foot long bridge and perform concrete repairs. The bridge was built in 1953 and carries about 50,000 vehicles per day.
Performing this rehabilitation now avoids a more expensive bridge replacement project in the future, which would cost at least 50 percent more and take another six months to a year longer to build with far more impact to the local community and the Wood River.
The Wood River Valley Bridge Project 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.