The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced that the Mount Hope Bridge dehumidification project is underway.
As a result, RITBA’s consultant will begin some preliminary testing as the first phase of the work, beginning in March 2024.
The consultant and a contractor will use one lane of the bridge between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9am and 1pm on Fridays.
RITBA Executive Director Lori Caron Silveira said that the testing was scheduled during the “off season” in the East Bay and is to be concluded by the time of the Roger Williams University commencement.
“We have thoroughly explored with the contractor options for shortening the number of workdays, but the work cannot be done at night for safety reasons. The workdays cannot be extended without causing significant traffic issues, and weekend work would not be efficient,” Silveira said.
She said that commuters who use the Mt. Hope Bridge are encouraged to “plan for the alternate lane travel that will enable traffic to move in both directions during this work period.”
RITBA has made the preservation of the almost 95 year-old span a priority and expects the dehumidification system and other initiatives to extend the life of the bridge by 50-75 years.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ - From RITBA)
Other than the traffic inconveniences can you provide more information regarding the “preliminary testing” phase versus other phases of the project?
The preliminary testing phase is scheduled to last approximately 11 weeks beginning March 11th and ending before the RWU commencement. The preliminary testing phase will require daily lane restrictions, which will occur from 9AM to 3PM Monday to Thursday and 9AM to 1PM Friday.
The construction of the final project is expected to begin between Fall 2024 and Spring 2025, depending on the timing and results of the public bidding process.
The project is estimated to be complete in March 2028.
While lane closures will be necessary sometimes, much of the work will be done up on the cables with traffic lanes fully open once the necessary scaffolding is installed.
Additionally, will there be any potential/perceived noise, vibrations, humming that one might consider bothersome?
The execution of both the preliminary testing phase and the final project will be done during daylight hours for safety reasons. Any noise generated should not be excessive or bothersome to most people.
Does the project include the temporary setup of associated equipment, work vehicles, porta-potties, and/or trash receptacles/dumpsters in the vicinity of the bridge (ie. on Mussellbed Shoal Road or any point from the Bristol Ferry Road/Boyd’s Lane intersection west to the water?
For both the preliminary testing phase and the final project, the contractors will utilize a laydown area on the Bristol side of the bridge at the bottom of Old Ferry Road.
There will also likely be some temporary restroom facilities and equipment, etc. at locations on the bridge itself.
Read the full RITBA Media Release HERE.
For more information, contact RITBA at 401-423-0800 or visit the RITBA website.