As promised, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) project managers, the contractor for the Silver Creek Bridge replacement project and Town officials have continued to work on a solution to rebuild the bridge in a way that will provide a minimum negative impact on the residents, businesses and commuters in the Bristol area.
Bristol residents and business owners had expressed concerns that a full closure, even for the short eight-week construction period, might cause revenues to fall off. After working with the contractor for the Silver Creek Bridge project and reviewing several alternatives, RIDOT has found a solution that will keep at least one lane of the bridge open to traffic throughout the entire construction process thereby avoiding the need to close the entire bridge to traffic for eight weeks.
Preliminary discussions indicate that the Department most likely will keep southbound traffic flowing on the bridge and detour northbound traffic during the times when only a single lane on the bridge will be open. The decision will be finalized by January, working in coordination with the community.
Other options such as building a temporary bridge for the eight-week period and then tearing it down, or using the bike path bridge adjacent to the project, were determined to be too costly, too disruptive to an adjacent business, and would cause delays in project scheduling due to environmental permitting issues.
The first phase of construction will include utility relocation and the permanent relocation of sewer and water lines taking place from now to February 15, 2020. During this phase, while there will be temporary lane shifts and splits, traffic will continue uninterrupted in both directions over the bridge.
During the second phase from February 16, 2020 until June 19, 2020, RIDOT will close half the bridge and keep one lane and the sidewalk open. The one lane will accommodate traffic in one direction only. The opposite direction of traffic will be detoured around the work zone. During this phase, RIDOT will demolish and rebuild the closed half of the bridge completely and relocate utilities to their permanent location.
The third phase of construction from June 19, 2020 to July 5, 2020, RIDOT will reopen the bridge lanes and sidewalks to allow uninterrupted travel in both directions.
The last phase of bridge construction between July 6, 2020 and August 28, 2020 includes demolition and replacement of the opposite side of the bridge with one lane of traffic allowed in one direction again. RIDOT is offering incentives to the contractor for an earlier completion of the bridge work during this phase.
Final construction activities are scheduled to be completed between August 28, 2020 and October 16, 2020. Traffic will remain open in both directions while final paving, striping and landscaping take place. The additional cost for this plan is $300,000. This amount is within the contingency budget for the project.
All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather. The replacement of the Silver Creek Bridge is 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.