Poppasquash Road won’t reopen until Feb. 14 at the earliest

Photo by Rich Dionne
Sandy's water surge destroyed part of the sea wall during the moon tide on Monday night.

Photo by Rich Dionne
Sandy’s water surge destroyed part of the sea wall during the moon tide on Monday night.

Poppasquash Road will remain closed until mid-February or possibly later, said an official from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

On Tuesday, Bob Smith, the deputy chief engineer for the DOT, said crews will be busy until at least Feb. 14, 2013 rebuilding much of Poppasquash Road in Bristol. The section of roadway — from Hope Street to Bristol Marine — suffered significant damage when Hurricane Sandy rolled ashore on Oct. 29.

“We are currently putting up two contracts to rebuild that section of road,” Mr. Smith said. “One is structural for the little bridge on that road. It’s called Poppasquash Bridge number 293.”

The second contract is to repave the road and rebuild the seawall.

The small bridge — it’s more of a culvert that crosses underneath Poppasquash — was compromised when surge from the storm pushed north up Bristol Harbor and overwhelmed that section of roadway. Town officials closed off the road shortly after the storm hit; it has remained closed since.

Mr. Smith said officials from the DOT already opened bids for bridge work and chose low bidder Cardi Corp. That company bid $294,900 to replace the bridge and will reportedly complete the work by Jan. 31. Mr. Smith said the bid figure was less than DOT officials expected.

“We’ve made some allowances with materials for the colder weather,” Mr. Smith said, adding that the completion date figures in “normal winter conditions.”

The second contract, covering road paving and replacement of the stone wall, will likely carry the larger price tag. DOT officials estimate the work to cost $1.5 million; bids go out later this week and will be opened next week.

“The completion date is Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, if all goes well,” Mr. Smith said. “We’re flirting with winter conditions.”

Mr. Smith said the Federal Highway Emergency Relief Program will cover 90 percent of the projects, while the state will pay the remaining 10 percent. He said the federal money became available once the governor declared the state of emergency following the late October hurricane.

“People will see some activity out there very soon,” Mr. Smith said. “Hopefully we’ll have people out there by late next week.”

The deputy chief engineer said officials decided to split the project into two separate projects in an effort to save money, which he felt will be accomplished.


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