East Shore Expressway reopens after accelerated bridge replacement

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Shore Expressway reopened to traffic Tuesday morning as construction crews put the finishing touches onto its new bridge.

The expressway was closed starting Friday night as the Rhode Island Department of Transportation replaced the deteriorating bridge carrying traffic over Warren Avenue, a portion of which was also closed.

RIDOT used an accelerated technique to replace the bridge. Rather the previous method of closing one lane at a time – a job that would’ve lasted about a year – crews constructed the new bridge in a vacant lot nearby, allowing them to demolish the old structure and install the new one in just over 80 hours.

“We were able to replace a bridge in a time frame that would normally take, or in the past would take about a year of inconvenience for the traffic,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.

He said the entire process took about 83 hours – three more than anticipated.

“It did take 83 hours, which I’m not entirely happy about,” Alviti said.

Overall, the project was a success.

“The construction went seamlessly, all of the parts fit, and we are very pleased with the outcome,” he said.

Exit 7 on I-195 East reopened just before 6 a.m. to one lane of the expressway and both lanes were open by 8 a.m.

McCormick Quarry Bridge, located just up the street from the East Shore Expressway, is next in line to be replaced using the same accelerated technique.

“We intend on using it more often in the future,” Alviti said.

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