The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) is pleased to announce the successful completion of Phase One of the Newport Pell Bridge roadway deck rehabilitation project. Phase One, which began March 23rd, completed nearly three weeks ahead of scheduleThis work consisted of a partial depth hydro-demolition and replacement of the concrete roadway deck of 4,500 feet to the eastbound travel lane (outside lane traveling towards Newport). 

Due to reduced travel as a result of COVID-19, it was not necessary to have two lanes open in the direction of the heaviest travel during rush hours, as initially planned. This allowed the contractor to expedite its work and ultimately complete Phase One ahead of schedule. 

Phase Two of the roadway deck rehabilitation project will begin Wednesday, June 3rd, with prep work (weather permitting). Beginning the week of June 8th, hydro-demolition and milling work will start and is expected to last through the end of August. This portion of the project will focus on rehabilitating the westbound passing lane (center lane traveling towards Jamestown) of the bridge deck. 

For Phase Two, RITBA will continue monitoring travel daily. As summer traffic volume increases, RITBA is prepared to make available two lanes of travel in the heaviest travel direction during rush hours if warranted. As of now, the travel pattern will consist of one lane heading east (towards Newport) and one lane heading west (towards Jamestown) at all times. See the diagram attached for more detail. 

RITBA would like to stress that the speed limit on the bridge will be reduced to 25 miles per hour during this project and that the reduced speed limit will be strictly enforced. 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 ritba.org.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.