Starting in March, The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) will recommence the significant structural rehabilitation project on the Newport Pell Bridge. RITBA will continue its rehabilitation of approximately 4,500 feet of the bridge deck over the next nine months. This work is part of the multi-year, multi-phase project, which began in the spring of 2017. This essential maintenance will extend the life of the bridge’s road deck and help keep the bridge safe for the more than 10 million vehicles that cross it each year. The bridge deck was expected to last 30 years, with RITBA’s diligence and rehabilitation efforts the road deck is now at 50 years and counting.

The project for 2020 is segmented in three phases, with each phase focusing on a different lane of the bridge deck:

Phase one, with permanent lane closures, will begin March 23rd and go through the end of May.During this phase,RITBA will perform the hydro-demolition and bridge deck rehabilitation of the eastbound travel lane (outside lane traveling into Newport). During rush hour travel, RITBA will deploy a traffic pattern that is planned to lessen traffic delays. Using the movable median barrier, RITBA will have two lanes of traffic open going into Newport during the morning rush hours.

RITBA will create two lanes of travel, leaving Newport in the afternoon. This traffic pattern and daily change of the barrier location will best accommodate daily traffic.

During rush hours, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., one lane will remain open in the opposite direction from the heavy traffic flow, and only one lane will be closed and available for the deck work.During non-rush hours,there may be one lane open in both directions, and the contractor will have access to perform work on the other two lanes. This will require temporary single lane closures on the bridge during non-rush hours from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and again overnight from 7:00 p.m. to 5:30 am.

Phase two of this project will begin in early June and is expected to go through the end of August. This portion of the project will focus on rehabilitating the westbound passing lane (center lane on the north side heading to Jamestown) of the bridge deck. There will be two lanes of traffic going into Newport during the morning rush hours and two lanes of travel leaving Newport in the afternoon. There will be alternating travel lanes based on the time of day (morning vs. evening rush hours).

During rush hours, one lane will remain open in the opposite direction from the heavy traffic flow, and only one lane will be closed and available for the deck work. During non-rush hours,there may be one lane open in both directions, and the contractor will have access to perform work on the other two lanes.

Phase three of this project will begin in early September and is expected to be completed in early December. This portion of the project will focus on rehabilitating the eastbound passing lane (center lane on the south side heading to Newport) of the bridge deck.

There will be two lanes of traffic going into Newport during the morning rush hours and two lanes of travel leaving Newport in the afternoon. There will be alternating travel lanes based on the time of day (morning vs. evening rush hours).

During rush hours, one lane will remain open in the opposite direction from the heavy traffic flow, and only one lane will be closed and available for the deck work. During non-rush hours,there may be one lane open in both directions,and the contractor will have access to perform work on the other two lanes.

RITBA would like to inform motorists, the speed limit on the bridge will be reduced to 25 miles per hour during this project. Additionally due to reduced lane widths and hydro-demolition of the bridge deck, travel will be prohibited for overwide and overweight vehicles that exceed 8 feet 6 inches in width and/or have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) in excess of 80,000 pounds.

To learn more about this project and access real-time traffic updates to plan your commute, visit http://www.ritba.org/