JAMESTOWN, R.I. – The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA)is pleased to announce the early completion of the first phase of the deck repair project on the Newport Pell Bridge. This comes weeks before its scheduled completion date. As of Friday morning, the traffic pattern on the Bridge will resume to two lanes in each direction. This project, which began on May 16 and recommenced on September 19, consisted of a partial depth hydro-demolition and replacement of the concrete roadway deck from curb to curb for 1,000 feet of the westbound and eastbound lanes to the east approach of the Bridge (Newport side). The contractor removed the concrete roadway deck down to the rebar and fresh concrete was poured. This work required permanent lane closures, and single travel lanes in each direction, however travel will now resume to two lanes in each direction. RITBA is still undergoing work beneath the bridge to the existing steel bearings from the bridge’s original construction in 1969. The steel bearing are being removed and replaced with new and modern elastomeric bearings. This work is expected to be complete by early spring.

RITBA will undergo a cable inspection to the main suspension cable on the Newport Bridge next spring and summer (2018). Results of that inspection will be utilized to evaluate areas of the roadway deck that need to be focused on. Following the cable inspection and evaluation, the RITBA engineering team will plan the next decking project and put it out to bid and award a contract. This next phase is expected to begin in spring 2019.

The first phase of the deck repair project is complete and permanent lanes closures are no longer in place. However, RITBA will continue ongoing maintenance to other areas of the bridge which will require temporary daily lane closure between the hours of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. These lane closures are standard with routine maintenance and don’t affect rush hour traffic.

“I would to thank commuters for their patience and understanding while this project was underway. I would also like to thank everyone involved in this significant project including Turnpike employees and Aetna contractors as well as local police and fire and the State Police. The commitment and dedication to this work and completing the project ahead of schedule is immensely appreciated.” stated Buddy Croft, RITBA Executive Director.

To plan your commute and stay ahead of the traffic you can access up-to-date information on construction activity and real-time traffic, by visiting RITBA’s website at RITBA.org. This site provides the latest information concerning lane closures, construction activity and traffic delays for the Newport Pell, Jamestown Verrazzano, Mount Hope and Sakonnet River Bridges, in addition to the RT. 138 Connector.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.