It’s been two years since the state Department of Transportation started preparing the land for a temporary bridge to run alongside the Division Street bridge over Route 4, and just about a year since construction of that temporary bridge halted after a sag was detected in the section arching over the southbound Route 4 lanes.
According to both DOT and bridge contractor Cardi Corporation, they are close to a solution to the problem, which involves trying out different types and amounts of fill.
“We are still in a holding pattern and are reviewing design plans to address the outstanding issues before resuming construction,” said Lisbeth Pettengill with RIDOT. “DOT is committed to making sure the solution is safe and viable. The onus is on the contractor to craft the solution. We are very close at this time but we want to be completely sure.”
DOT has noted previously any cost overruns because of this issue will be borne by the contractor.
Cardi lawyer Jeremy Ritzenberg offered this comment:
“Cardi is continuing to work with engineers for the designer and supplier of the temporary bridge, and with engineers for RIDOT, regarding final details in the repair plans for the temporary bridge. We have also submitted detailed work plans for executing those repair plans, once they are fully approved. The engineers appear to be very close to completing all necessary analysis and to approving the work, and we therefore expect the remedial work to commence very soon, but since the final approvals are not yet in hand, we unfortunately cannot yet provide a firm date for this work to be performed.”
The current bridge was built in 1967 and is classified as structurally deficient. DOT made repairs four years ago but replacement has been on the books for some time. In 2019, DOT said the estimated cost of the project was $23.8 million.
DOT has used a number of types of accelerated bridge construction in recent years – the work gets done faster and without as much traffic disruption. This is the first time this sort of bridge – metal arches topped with fill and covered in asphalt – has been used in Rhode Island.
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