Halsey's plan: With creativity, Silver Creek Bridge can stay open

Posted 5/31/19

The trauma of the Silver Creek Bridge replacement continues. Bristol citizens and businesses have every right to assert their demand for a Rte. 114 (Hope Street) bypass during construction in the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Halsey's plan: With creativity, Silver Creek Bridge can stay open

Posted

The trauma of the Silver Creek Bridge replacement continues. Bristol citizens and businesses have every right to assert their demand for a Rte. 114 (Hope Street) bypass during construction in the summer of 2020. Below I will show you how.

The bad news is that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (DOT) declared two-month construction period probably means four months. The good news is that we have a year for the town, its citizens and DOT to work constructively together on all components of advance planning. I actually believe a well-planned job can be completed in one month.

The major work from removal to installation of the new bridge depends on utility work in advance and upon production of the bridge structure of steel or concrete off-site in advance of road opening. One is reminded of the estimable DOT construction off-site of the new Providence 195 bridge ingeniously installed from a barge setting the bridge in place utilizing the falling tide.

Another memory is the decades old construction of a temporary set of bridges during the major replacement of two bridges connecting Warren and Barrington for continuous use of Rte. 114. So now with a similar dilemma, why not similarly provide for us in Bristol? Here is how:

Borrow the south section of the Bike Path for vehicular travel of automobiles south from the Sip ’n Dip south lot (DOT work out a deal) (Bikers, sorry for the temporary inconvenience, but you can join the Bike Path just north of Sip ’n Dip). This only requires for the south bound traffic some further strong guard rails down to Independence Park. While the bike path is a bit narrower than a conventional street, it is substantially wider than car width.

Northbound traffic must enter facing north from just south of the WPA wall near Bristol’s tall flag pole. (Probably need to shave 2 feet off the south end of the wall) With minor adjustment of benches and other locations, autos can easily drive north on the grass clear of all the fine trees.

DOT should install Seabee type metal grills over the grass for suitable driving. Also, they must construct a steel or wood bridge over the Silver Creek inner outlet for transit into the Sip ’n Dip lot onto Rte.114 north. Given the short span there, this can be easily done. (Of course, the replacement of the bay outlet portion of the job can be postponed until the new bridge is in service.)

I am fully confident this will work out fine. My suspicion is that DOT and others will invent reasons to dismiss the idea as impractical, but that in the end this solution will be adopted and implemented for the benefit of all.

Halsey C. Herreshoff
Bristol

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
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.