Division St. Bridge Replacement Remains Stalled

by | Aug 6, 2021

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.

Find previous stories here:

October 2019: https://eastgreenwichnews.com/dot-preps-division-st-for-route-4-bridge-replacement/

Sept. 2020: https://eastgreenwichnews.com/dot-hits-pause-on-temporary-bridge-after-sag-detected/

Feb. 2021: https://eastgreenwichnews.com/more-woes-for-temporary-division-st-bridge/

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Fred GriffitH
Fred GriffitH
August 7, 2021 10:04 am

Thanks for updating us on this project!

Walter D Hope
Walter D Hope
August 7, 2021 10:19 am

Keep after the DOT on this one, Ms McNamara. It seems that the contractor has no incentives to complete this job since it’s all out of his pocket now. Are/were there any penalties for not meeting a deadline? How long is the current “structurally deficient” Division Street bridge expected to last?

And, although only slightly off the subject, how will the new Division Street bridge fit into RI DOT’s proposed upgrade of the I-95/RI-4 interchange project? That proposal will provide north-bound I-95 traffic a direct exit to RI-4 south and significantly reduce traffic through the RI-2/Division Street intersection (and conversely, north-bound RI-4 traffic to I-95 south).

andy correira
andy correira
August 7, 2021 1:51 pm

If the two structures are not structurally safe and up to federal or state standards why are they still in place? It seems the state is giving Cardi corp a pass on this one. And why can’t they a least repair the roadway at the approach and at the top by 1149 restaurant? The state has failed us on many road and bridge projects. On Rt 2 north by Supreme pizza the sewer covers are sunk and it’s worse the a pothole. Every bridge they replaced has speed bumps the beginning and end.

Wheeler A. Van Brocklin
Wheeler A. Van Brocklin
August 9, 2021 11:05 am

I have long felt that the “sag” was caused by the pavement being placed and the rollers rather than “static” were on high amplitude-vibration. Perhaps the fill itself was a part of that failure but could have been avoided, no? On another score, The bridge carrying Davisville Road (“Devil’sfoot”?) over RISR 302 and RR right-of-way has been de-rated to 10 tons. What is this all about? The rebuild on that bridge (although problematic at the time) is NOT old…I hope this is not what the taxpayers and motoring public can expect from the restored & replaced bridges undertaken by the toll-funded Build RI program…Commentary welcome


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