North Smithfield bridge to close next month for rehabilitation

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced Tuesday that the Slatersville Stone Arch Bridge in North Smithfield will be closing next month.

The historic bridge carries Route 5 over the Branch River. On May 1, crews will begin rehabilitating the structurally deficient bridge, which has been classified as such for the past decade.

Back in 2013, RIDOT closed half the bridge and installed temporary traffic signals for a single-lane alternating traffic pattern on the bridge, which led to traffic delays.

The plan will be to close the bridge twice in a three-year span, which RIDOT says will shave a year off the project’s construction time.

A major part of the project involves restoring and reinforcing the stone arches that support the 150-foot-long bridge that was built back in 1855.

The project is expected to cost the state $13.5 million, according to RIDOT.

The first phase will keep the bridge closed through July.