EP bridge replacement’s first weekend is in the books

(Scott del Sole, WPRI-TV)

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The first leg of a complex bridge replacement over I-195 is finished, and though it’s back open following a weekend of being closed, the lanes of the Pawtucket Avenue Bridge in East Providence are now cut down to two – one in each direction – with equipment held elsewhere on the bridge.

For seven remaining weekends over the next four months – 7 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday – the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be closing the bridge as they tear away the deteriorating old one and build up a brand new one.

Traffic is being routed around the bridge on weekends to Grosvenor and Warren Avenues.

“RIDOT strongly recommends motorists plan ahead, provide extra travel time and consider alternate routes,” the department’s Charles St. Martin said in a statement Monday.

After the next weekend closing, I-195 will have lane shifts put in place in both directions: four lanes will be cut down to two, and ramps entering the highway from the East Shore Expressway and Warren Avenue will have to yield to traffic.

The project’s commencement was delayed a weekend due to a wintry mix of weather on the original start date.

The “accelerated” bridge replacement is set to take four months, instead of two years.