Despite the recent bad weather, the deck repair work continues on the Newport Pell Bridge and the project remains on schedule, according to The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.
“The hydro-demolition work has been successful and is going smoothly. The contractor has removed the concrete deck down to the rebar (steel supporting bars embedded in the concrete),” state the RITBA in a news release.
These photos show the work in progress and the magnitude of the work taking place.
“Traffic congestion remains a problem during rush hours. Commuters are experiencing delays. However, there are minimal delays during the middle of the day and no delays in the evenings,” says RITBA.
RITBA urges people to continue to travel to Aquidneck Island and enjoy the beaches, landmarks, restaurants and businesses that Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport have to offer.
The project work has been sequenced to minimize traffic problems during the high volume peak summer season. The initial work will began the week of May 15 and will continue until the end of June. This work will require permanent lane closures, so there will be single travel lanes in each direction. During July and August work will be performed from underneath the bridge using barges, as a result, there will not be any permanent lane closures during these months.
Starting September 19 the above deck work will commence again and will continue through December 2017. This stage will again require single travel lanes in each direction. There will be no lane closures on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
The project also requires prohibiting overwide vehicles with a width exceeding 8 feet 6 inches from crossing the bridge from May 15 through the end of June as well as September through December 2017. Overweight vehicles with Gross vehicle weight (GVW) over 80,000 pounds will be prohibited from crossing from May 15 through December. Rhode Island State Police presence will be increased during the project, strictly enforcing this ban and reduced speed restrictions for all vehicles.
As RITBA continues to field some common questions about the project and its impacts, here is an FAQ which answers the most common questions.