DOT says Silver Creek Bridge will be fully open again soon

Posted 9/16/20

Only about eight months ago, long before 2020 opened showed its real face, the high-season closure of the northbound route into town was Bristol’s biggest headache. The Rhode Island …

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DOT says Silver Creek Bridge will be fully open again soon

Posted

Only about eight months ago, long before 2020 opened showed its real face, the high-season closure of the northbound route into town was Bristol’s biggest headache. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) gave a reprieve of sorts, altering original plans to completely close the bridge in all directions, so that motorists could get in from the north, if not out, throughout the duration of the project.

The traffic disruption has continued ever since, with a constant present of detail police officers and flashing lights to remind motorists that they cannot travel north by Route 114 over the Silver Creek in front of Guiteras School.

In less than two weeks, that will change and traffic will again flow in both directions, considerably shortening the trip northbound along Hope Street alleviating traffic flow and congestion through the neighborhoods around Bay View and Sherry avenues and along Metacom Avenue.

Though the opening date represents a one-month delay over initial projections of a late August reopening, that timeline would have likely been delayed far longer had COVID not canceled much of the July 4 celebration this year, allowing DOT to continue work over a period in which they had initially planned to shut down the project.

Until then, DOT is coordinating with Bristol Police to allow two-way traffic for school buses only for the first two weeks of school. Police officers also will be posted at key intersections along the existing detour routes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate car and pedestrian travel to schools during the morning drop-off and afternoon pickup times. Parents driving their children to and from school should follow the detour route if necessary.

Built in 1922, the 17-ton Silver Creek Bridge was targeted for reconstruction due to critical structural deficiency. The cost of replacement is currently at $4.9 million, nearly $1 million over initial projections of $4 million.

Final construction activities include guardrail, curbing and sidewalks, which will all be done this fall. Landscaping will be installed in the spring for the best establishment of grass and other plantings.

 

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