The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has reopened the Park Avenue Bridge.
The bridge was closed on Tuesday, June 23. That same day, RIDOT reached out to contractors to solicit bids for repair, and a meeting was held with potential contractors on Thursday, June 25. On Friday, June 26, the Department awarded a $411,000 contract to John Rocchio Corp.
RIDOT's Highway and Bridge Maintenance crews helped shorten the closure time by working overnight on Friday, June 26 to remove the asphalt surface on the bridge and allow the contractor to begin mobilizing as quickly as possible. The official notice to proceed was given on Saturday, June 27, with a stipulation to have the bridge open to traffic in 30 days, or July 27.
The bridge's position over Amtrak's Northeast Corridor required almost all of the work to be conducted during overnight outages provided by Amtrak. Crews were on site on Monday, June 29, delivering materials and installing fencing.
Park Avenue is one of the main east/west roadways in the City of Cranston. The emergency repairs were made to put the structure back in service as quickly as possible to correct a safety issue and minimize the inconvenience to the 17,000 vehicles that use the bridge each day.
These repairs are only a temporary fix. The bridge reopens to traffic with a 16-ton weight limit, and it will remain classified as structurally deficient until permanent repairs can be made. Rhode Island needs a sustainable funding solution in order to make permanent fixes to this bridge and the more than 200 other structurally deficient bridges across our state.