Beginning September 19, The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) will resume the roadway deck rehabilitation project on the Newport Pell Bridge. This multi-phase project began in May with the first phase focusing on a portion of the bridge’s east approach (Newport side) with partial depth hydro-demolition and replacement of the westbound and eastbound concrete roadway which was completed in June. In addition to the roadway deck; the existing steel bearings from the bridge’s original construction in 1969 were removed and replaced with new and modern elastomeric bearings. This work went on throughout the summer from beneath the bridge utilizing barges and this current deck work will continue through the end of November.
Starting September 19 the above deck work will recommence and will continue through November 2017. This will focus on continuing the roadway deck work with partial removal and replacement. This will require single travel lanes in each direction. Overwide vehicles with a width exceeding 8 feet 6 inches will be prohibited from crossing the bridge. Overweight vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) over 80,000 pounds are also prohibited from crossing. Rhode Island State Police presence will be increased during the project, strictly enforcing this ban and reduced speed restrictions for all vehicles.
“We understand this project has impacted motorists, and we are doing our best to mitigate the traffic issues. We have learned a great deal from the deck work completed in May and June and we will continue to improve. We have seen that for the most part, traffic delays are taking place during the weekday commute rush hours. There is no problem crossing the bridge at all other times” stated Eric Offenberg, Director of Engineering at the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. “All of us at RITBA ask you to continue to visit Aquidneck Island. With backups most pronounced during weekday rush hours, we urge you to enjoy all of the wonderful restaurants, shopping, attractions, and events Aquidneck Island has to offer. The Island is certainly open for business – and pleasure” stated Buddy Croft, Executive Director at the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.