Replacing Pawtucket Ave. bridge starts this weekend

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A speedy plan to replace a busy East Providence bridge — carrying Pawtucket Avenue over I-195 — gets started this coming weekend. It means the bridge will be closed on eight weekends, this being the first, according to RIDOT.

Instead of taking two years, the state Department of Transportation says the new bridge should be in place in just four months (or 120 days).

The first closure of the bridge is from 7 p.m. Friday, March 31, until 6 a.m. Monday, April 3. Traffic will be detoured around over onto Broadway — under the interstate — via Grosvenor and Warren Avenues. The on-ramp to the interstate will also be closed.

The interstate will also get lane shifts, with four lanes being cut down to two in both directions. Drivers entering I-195 from the East Shore Expressway onramp westbound and the Warren Avenue on-ramp eastbound will have to yield to traffic.

The “accelerated replacement” method was previously used on bridges to and from the East Shore Expressway. That project was completed last fall.