The new Sakonnet River Bridge opened to Route 24 southbound traffic on Friday, Sept.28. This opening removed the 18-ton weight limit for all vehicles.
“With thanks for the patience and perseverance of the two host communities of Tiverton and Portsmouth, and the dedicated efforts of RIDOT, we welcome the full opening of the new Sakonnet River Bridge,” said Governor Lincoln Chafee.
RIDOT broke ground on the new Sakonnet River Bridge in April, 2009. Through a $163.7 million contract with Cardi Corporation, RIDOT is providing an improved structure that is 2,265 feet long and approximately 96 feet wide. There are two 12-foot lanes in each direction with wide shoulders.
Once all traffic is shifted to the new bridge, work will continue on the approach roads on both sides of the span. As part of this work, the Department will temporarily close the ramp from Route 138 (Main Road) to Route 24 south for approximately two months until temporary ramp construction is complete.
While the ramp is closed, a signed detour is recommended as follows: take Route 24 north to Exit 6 (Fish Road). At the bottom of the exit, take a left then take another left to return to Route 24 south.
RIDOT expects construction activities on the segments of Route 24 approaching the bridge to continue through Spring 2013.
All construction on the new bridge should wrap up in 2013, including the opening of a shared-use path for bicycles and pedestrians along the northern edge of the new bridge and the connections to the local streets in Tiverton and Portsmouth. Also in 2013, RIDOT anticipates advertising a construction project for the demolition of the old Sakonnet River Bridge.