PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The jersey barriers that had lined the Iway Bridge for years were no longer there Monday, and RIDOT confirmed Wednesday that repairs to the bridge’s safety railings had been completed.
RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said the remaining barriers were removed Sunday, more than three years after engineers uncovered defects in the railing system. A letter from RIDOT obtained by the Target 12 Investigators said steel reinforcement bars in the railings were apparently cut during installation. Concerned that the railings could give way if a vehicle struck them, crews put up the jersey barriers while waiting for a permanent fix.
Alviti said Wednesday the bridge was safe to travel. “That has been our paramount concern since day one,” he said.
With repairs complete, the focus now turns to who will cover the cost. Alviti said Wednesday that the total cost still needed to be finalized, but added the state was in a claims process with the contractor, Cardi Corp.
“The contractor should be responsible for giving us a bridge back in the condition that we originally paid for,” Alviti said.
Cardi told Eyewitness News they did the work under protest, saying RIDOT field representatives approved the changes to the railings. Cardi said the state should therefore pay for the repairs.
Alviti said RIDOT has since made significant organizational changes that require more checks and balances for future projects.