RIDOT will go forward with EP bridge replacement this weekend

(Scott del Sole, WPRI-TV)

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a one week weather delay, replacement of the Pawtucket Avenue Bridge is set to begin this weekend.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be closing the bridge over I-195 in East Providence for eight weekends over the course of the next four months; each “quadrant” of the project needs two weekends, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said on Thursday.

Starting April 7, the bridge will be closed at 7 p.m. on Fridays and reopened at 6 a.m. on Mondays.

The bridge is one of the state’s “structurally deficient” bridges, Alviti said; it uses the “Lincoln Logs” or “Jenga”-stacked beams for support, much like the East Shore Expressway bridge that was replaced last fall.

They’re using an accelerated process of removing the old bridge and building and installing a new one.

“That will allow us to get this bridge rebuilt in four months as opposed to the traditional methods which would take two years,” Alviti said.

On the four weekends, traffic will have to be detoured through neighborhoods and the on-ramp to I-195 will be closed.

“I-195 traffic under the bridge will experience shifts but not closure,” Alviti said.

Four lanes being cut down to two in both directions on the interstate. Drivers entering I-195 West from the East Shore Expressway and I-195 East the Warren Avenue on-ramp will have to yield to traffic.

The project couldn’t be started in last Saturday’s wintry mix conditions.