Decision made to protect public safety after dozens of overweight trucks observed crossing the posted bridge
Effective Thursday, July 2, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will close the Greystone Sluiceway Bridge on the Johnston/North Providence line to protect public safety after dozens of overweight trucks were observed crossing the structurally deficient bridge, which is weight restricted at only 3 tons.
On a day in late May, the Department conducted a count and witnessed nearly 100 overweight vehicles crossing the bridge. During other spot inspections, RIDOT observed similar numbers of trucks over the 3-ton weight limit. RIDOT added more signs about the bridge posting, ahead of the original signs.
Police in both Johnston and North Providence patrolled the bridge over a two-week period earlier this month and gave out 66 citations and 18 warnings. Approximately one week after the patrols ended, RIDOT did another one-day survey and observed 25 overweight vehicles crossing the bridge.
Based on the condition of the bridge and the number and type of overweight vehicles that continue to ignore the posting signs and pass over the bridge, RIDOT decided to close the bridge until it can be replaced. The structure is currently funded for $2 million for reconstruction in 2022.
The 71-year-old timber bridge carries approximately 3,000 vehicles per day on Greystone Avenue over the Woonasquatucket River, between Riverside Avenue in Johnston and Waterman Avenue/Route 104 in North Providence.
Detour signs will be posted, directing traffic to follow a detour using Waterman Avenue and Putnam Pike (Route 44).