In Bristol, more of Poppasquash will be closed to traffic

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Officials will close an extended length of Poppasquash Road as construction crews continue to repair sections of the road after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in late October.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, officials closed Poppasquash Road all the way to Coggeshall Farm Road and created a detour that carries from Hope Street down Asylum Road and through Colt State Park before returning to Poppasquash.

The road will remain closed, said a spokeswoman from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, until Feb. 14 at the earliest.

According to a recent press release from the DOT, Cardi Corp. will complete work at a cost of $1.7 million — crews will repair about 4,000 feet of road, replace drainage culverts and fix the damaged sea wall.

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee recently commented on the project: “We appreciate the continued efforts of RIDOT and our local contracting community to keep Hurricane Sandy repairs in the forefront. These projects help return our state’s vital transportation infrastructure to its prior condition before the storm and support Rhode Island jobs in the hard-hit construction industry,” he said.

The DOT’s goal is to complete work on storm-damaged state roads as soon as possible. On Nov. 3, RIDOT began repairs to the seawall and sidewalk on Ocean Road in Narragansett. Repairs to Block Island’s Corn Neck Road began on Nov. 17 and repairs to Ocean Drive in Newport began on Dec. 4.

Repairs to Poppasquash Road began in late November.

“Once again, RIDOT is following the lead of the Governor to combat the damage from Hurricane Sandy head on,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “We will continue working to help restore the affected communities as best we can.”

In an earlier interview, Bob Smith, the deputy chief engineer for the DOT, said officials decided to put up two contracts to repair Poppasquash Road.

“One is structural for the little bridge on that road."

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

The small bridge 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 chose low bidder Cardi Corp. for the bridge work. That company bid $294,900 to replace the bridge and will reportedly complete the work by Jan. 31.

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.

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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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.