Starting this Spring, The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) has announced that they will recommence the significant structural rehabilitation project on the Newport Pell Bridge.

This is part of the multi-phase project which began in Spring 2017. The first phase in 2017 focused on the bridge’s east approach (Newport side) covering about 1,000 feet of the 11,247 foot bridge. It consisted of a partial depth hydro demolition and replacement of the concrete roadway deck from curb to curb. It also included removal of the existing steel bearings from the bridge’s original construction in 1969 and replaced them with new and modern elastomeric bearings.

Phase I of this upcoming project will begin early May and go through early August. This work on the bridge includes:

  • Installing temporary traffic management signs to help keep travel safe
  • Installing permanent digital lane control signals on the bridge (in the future, they will indicate whether a lane is open or closed, and will show other traffic-related info)
  • Performing expansion joint header repair on the road deck
  • Performing routine maintenance

This work will require single lane closures on the bridge during non-rush hours, similar to the lane closures RITBA uses for their routine maintenance work. The contract for this work is in the process of being awarded and once it is RITBA will provide the motoring public with specifics regarding the project and temporary lane closures.

Phase II of this project will begin in early August. At that time, RITBA will resume the hydro demolition and replacement of the bridge deck. RITBA will provide more information in the following month when available.

To learn more about the about this project, and to find real-time traffic updates visit

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).