In case you’ve been wondering, the Department of Transportation and Cardi Corp. continue to review a possible fix to the problem that’s caused the temporary southbound bridge to sag (“deflect”), delaying the state’s plan to reroute traffic from the existing Route 4 bridge in order to construct a new permanent bridge in its place.
This is the second time the southbound temporary bridge has had a deflection problem. Cardi was hired in 2019 to construct temporary arch bridges over the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 4, then demolish the existing bridge and build its permanent replacement. The first deflection on the southbound bridge was noticed last August. Officials that they had come up with a fix but the bridge deflected again in January.
DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin III said the fix for this more recent issue “is still under evaluation.” The hope is that work would resume at the site by mid-April but he said the timeline is “dependent on the resolution.”
Cardi took exception to that explanation, noting that it was Cardi that notified the state when the southbound bridge started to “deflect” again in January, just as it had the first time.
“Cardi immediately notified RIDOT, and then removed the paving and newly placed crushed stone from the top of the arch, then directed the manufacturer of the arch to perform further remedial engineering in order to ensure that the arch can be completed and put to use as planned,” a company spokesman said in February.
This week, Cardi said the bridge engineer is now performing the engineering required to complete the repairs, which will include an independent certification by another engineer. That work is expected to be handed over to Cardi engineers “within the week,” a spokesman said. After that, the plan will be sent to DOT and to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for their approval.
Once that happens, Cardi will be able to resume work, filling and paving the temporary bridges, then diverting traffic onto them. Cardi said that process was expected to take several weeks. After that, Cardi will tear down the existing bridge and start work on its permanent replacement.
According to DOT, the project was budgeted in 2019 at $23.8 million. The Cardi contract is for $15.5 million; the state will not be on the hook for any additional costs relating to problems with the temporary bridge.