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Sat December 13, 2014 - Northeast Edition
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has started a project to replace the Great Island Bridge in Narragansett, a 180-ft. (54.9 m) long structure that serves as the only way on and off of the island.
Through an $8.5 million project with MIG Corporation, the bridge will be built in two phases and use a temporary traffic signal so the structure can remain open to vehicles and pedestrians throughout construction.
Once the temporary signal is operational, there will be a new traffic pattern in effect with one lane of alternating traffic on Great Island Road between State Street and Basin Road. Additional lane closures may be necessary on Galilee Escape Road, at the intersection with Great Island Road, for drainage and utility work.
Originally constructed in 1959, the Great Island Bridge is currently posted at 12 tons for 2-axle vehicles, 15 tons for 3-axle vehicles and 28 tons for 5-axle vehicles. Last year, the weight limit was lowered to 3 tons for more than a week while emergency repairs were made. During that time, only passenger vehicles were allowed to cross.
The replacement project was delayed earlier this year by a potential shortfall in the federal Highway Trust Fund. In July, Congress passed a temporary funding extension, allowing the Great Island Bridge and several other projects to move forward.
For more information, visit www.dot.ri.gov.