Letter: DOT’s woeful bridge plan needs a complete review

Posted 8/15/19

The recent proposal to extend Wood Street to Chestnut Street, a spinoff from the Silver Creek Bridge Project, would be a disaster for the town. It would funnel traffic from Metacom through the quiet …

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Letter: DOT’s woeful bridge plan needs a complete review

Posted

The recent proposal to extend Wood Street to Chestnut Street, a spinoff from the Silver Creek Bridge Project, would be a disaster for the town. It would funnel traffic from Metacom through the quiet center of Bristol, in addition to causing great environmental harm to a beautiful wetland, while offering no redeeming benefits to the town.

This increased traffic down Chestnut past the high school would be an additional danger for the students. The proposal might look interesting on paper, but the ramifications have not been considered.

During DOT’s show and tell on the bridge early in the summer, it was pointed out that their proposed detour would clog up the town. This was for the duration of the project, but an extension would form a permanent clog. This is not a solution, it is an additional problem. Bristol should remain a beautiful destination, not a traffic snarl to be fought through.

The entire Silver Creek Bridge project needs a thorough airing; one that the town has yet to demand. For one thing, the plans of DOT are deficient in present flood prevention, let alone future sea level rise. DOT is embroiled in a similar potential flood problem for the I-195 Gano Street exit ramp on the East Side. There, URI’s worst case scenario estimates a 10-foot sea rise over the next 30 years.

For the Silver Creek bridge, DOT is essentially planning to use the sea level of 100 years ago that is known to contribute to periodic flooding! It is the same ocean at both locations. The bridge had less than five inches of clearance above the creek during a recent passing shower.

The deficient plans for the Silver Creek Bridge do not consider the needs of the Town of Bristol, and the town should not blindly accept them. A full forum is needed to review the issue and any extension of Wood Street.

Patrick Barosh, Ph.D.
Bristol

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