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RIDOT Tackles Multiple Bridge Projects Ahead of Schedule, On Budget

RIDOT continues to spend federal money to ensure getting future 80/20 federal-state grants for the several prominent spans yet to rebuild.

Wed February 11, 2015 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams


RIDOT photo.
RIDOT also completed the 123-ft. (37.5 m) Warren Avenue Bridge project in 2014.
RIDOT photo. RIDOT also completed the 123-ft. (37.5 m) Warren Avenue Bridge project in 2014.
RIDOT photo.
RIDOT also completed the 123-ft. (37.5 m) Warren Avenue Bridge project in 2014. RIDOT photo. Two halves of the Warren Avenue Bridge were built off site and placed into position when ready. RIDOT photo.

The entire substructure of the deteriorating Warren Avenue Bridge, originally constructed in 1959, also was rebuilt. RIDOT photo.
Despite limitations at the project site, the Warren Avenue Bridge was only closed for about three weeks to complete the replacement, which began with timber support alongside the structure’s piers. RIDOT photo.
Aetna Bridge Company of Warwick, R.I., executed the $2.9 million Warren Avenue Bridge project. RIDOT photo.
Using accelerated bridge techniques in August, RIDOT replaced the Barton Corner Bridge in Warwick in 11 days. RIDOT photo.
Traffic congestion was kept to a minimum by shifting lanes on the interstate and limiting full closures of Route 2 to just four temporary periods while the bridges were demolished and installed. RIDOT photo.
D’Ambra Construction of Warwick was general contractor for the Barton Corner Bridge job.

There were two well-known New England teams who declared 2014 “the Year of the Bridge” — the last-place Boston Red Sox and the first-place Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

The Red Sox declared it a bridge year because they were forced to bring very young minor league players up to the big leagues to fill gaps, show what they could do and help the parent club that fell apart, mired in last place.

The bridges are constructed under the auspices of RIDOT. With more than a half dozen bridge projects completed, nearly completed, ahead of schedule, about to start or at the ready — RIDOT continues to spend federal money wisely to ensure getting future 80/20 federal-state grants for the several prominent spans yet to rebuild.

“This past year was certainly a memorable one for the state, particularly given the success of recent rapid bridge replacements at Barton Corner in Warwick, and Warren Avenue in East Providence, and our efforts in bridge preservation,” said Michael Lewis, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. “Through innovative projects like this, we can not only significantly minimize the disruption to traffic and the neighboring community that construction activities often cause, but also leverage technology to better engage and educate the public on what exactly goes into erecting interstate structures of this type.

“As we move forward, we will continue to explore ways to deliver the safe, efficient, and modern transportation system that supports our economic recovery as a state and improves Rhode Islanders quality of life,” said Lewis.

Bridge Up in

Record Time

Using accelerated bridge techniques in August, RIDOT replaced the Barton Corner Bridge in Warwick in 11 days.

Traditional construction would have required near daily lane closures on Interstate 95 and Route 2. Instead, traffic congestion was kept to a minimum by shifting lanes on the interstate and limiting full closures of Route 2 to just four temporary periods while the bridges were demolished and installed.

The former bridge was built in 1958 and in an advanced state of deterioration prior to replacement. A steel shoring system had to be added to prevent a reduction in carrying capacity. The bridge’s main girders had become weak due to the impacts of oversized vehicles, so lane shifts were required for both Interstate 95 north and south. The new bridge raises the height of the structure to reduce the likelihood of these types of crashes in the future.

RIDOT released a time-lapse video of the replacement work.

D’Ambra Construction of Warwick was general contractor for the job.

Warren Avenue Bridge

RIDOT also completed the 123-ft. (37.5 m) Warren Avenue Bridge project in 2014, a vital link to the East Providence region, by bringing direct access for East Bay residents and businesses to the interstate system. Some 8,700 daily vehicles cross the bridge, with traffic to-and-from area hospitals and public and private schools nearby.

The bridge was replaced using a variety of accelerated bridge construction techniques, including pre-cast concrete components. Like Barton Corner, two halves of the bridge were built off site and placed into position when ready.

The entire substructure of the deteriorating bridge, originally constructed in 1959, also was rebuilt. Despite limitations at the project site, the bridge was only closed for about three weeks to complete the replacement, which began with timber support alongside the structure’s piers.

Aetna Bridge Company of Warwick, R.I., executed the $2.9 million project.

Projects Tackled

The work, on time and on budget, continued throughout the state in 2014, with various GCs working under RIDOT. After Barton Corner, the state also replaced and reopened the Conant Street Bridge in Pawtucket, along with the Randall Street Bridge in Providence and the Morgan Avenue Bridge, in Johnston, R.I.

In Newport, RIDOT partnered with the city’s Cliff Walk Commission to celebrate opening two spans of the two-mile Cliff Walk along Narragansett Bay behind the gilded mansions that had been damaged during Super Storm Sandy.

Work is ongoing in Barrington as the new temporary (possibly permanent) White Church Bridge is set for completion in less than a year, with the opening scheduled for 2015. RIDOT operations continue weekdays, in 8-hour shifts. Rebar for the new bridge deck and rip rap along the northwest approach began in January. The state also plans to put down roadway fill at the west approach and to install hollow steel pipes which will ultimately support the relocated utility poles there.

RIDOT closed the Atwells Avenue Bridge and accompanying Interstate 95 ramp. The bridge is a critical link between the famed Federal Hill area of Providence and the downtown.

“We closed the bridge on Monday, Jan. 5, for about one year for a complete rehabilitation,” said Rose Amoros of RIDOT. Detours have been set up using Eagle and Valley streets. The Atwells Avenue Bridge is a top priority for the state, given the immense amount of commuter traffic, as well as tourists from all over New England who come to this popular section of Providence.

The weather has been favorable for RIDOT. Except for one late-January blizzard — the first real snow of the winter — the state has experienced a relatively mild season, compared to the winter of 2013 to 2014, which brought 15 separate snowstorms to R.I., causing numerous project delays.

Work continues on the Great Island Bridge project in Narragansett, from Basin Road to Galilee Escape Road, with pile driving and area excavation, signage improvements to IWAY corridors into downtown Providence along the Viaduct, form and concrete work, bridge fencing, sidewalks and lighting and recently-installed banners along the Washington (George Redman) Bridge and Linear Park in Providence.

“It was a fine year,” said Lewis. “And with so many elements working together, it will get better.”

For more information, visit www.dot.ri.gov.




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