Rhode Island Closes Cove Bridge After Inspection Reveals Significant Flaws

Fri November 18, 2011 - Northeast Edition

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) A Rhode Island bridge slated for repairs is being closed early after an inspection revealed significant deterioration.

State Department of Transportation officials said the Cove Bridge in Portsmouth would be closed to traffic beginning Nov. 4. The span carries Hummocks Point Road over a tidal inlet in Portsmouth’s Island Park area.

The 50-year-old bridge was already scheduled for repairs, but officials agreed to keep it open after meeting with local residents. A recent inspection found “deterioration” significant enough to convince officials they couldn’t wait any longer.

Officials say they are working with the construction contractor to quickly begin the $2 million rehabilitation project this fall. The bridge is expected to reopen late next spring.