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A purple background with a photo of a man and a woman in front of the I-195 Bridge.

Washington Bridge: READ 1st draft report, with dramatic findings. Lane changes, other bridges.

“…under sufficient load the bridge could fail with limited to no advanced warning”. Sentences similar to this are scattered throughout the draft of the first report to be received by RI DOT. This report is done by VN Engineers.

While media outlets were quick to say they had obtained the report first – reporter Brian Amaral of the Boston Globe provided the report on “X”.

You can read the report HERE:

To read the 45-page report, click on this link:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24438791-washingtonbridgeassessment_draftnoapp_20240221?responsive=1&title=1

Final Summary of report:

New Traffic Patterns

New traffic patterns were announced by Gov. McKee and RIDOT’s Director Peter Alviti, to ease traffic. This requires traffic lanes to be added in the same space and will increase the load of traffic by 50%, per RIDOT.

Lane widths will decrease from 12 feet to 10 feet. A restricted truck lane on the right will go to 11 feet.

The new traffic pattern will take 8 weeks or more, depending on supply chains, weather, and temperature conditions (for striping). See model video here:

More on lane widths:

A Ford Focus measures 6.49 feet in width. In a 10 foot lane, that leaves 3.51 feet. Divide that by 2 and you have approximately 1.755 feet remaining on both sides within the lane.

A Ford Explorer SUV measures 7.51 feet in width. A 10 foot lane leaves 2.49 feet. Divide that by 2 and you have approximately 1.245 feet within the lane, assuming cars drive in the center of the lane.

Speed will be decreased and staying in lanes will be critical. The RIDOT says the lane addition will increase transportation by 50%.

Again, 8 weeks or more before any changes take place, and it does sound subject to change.

Other Bridges

Seems as though inspections are underway in bridges throughout Rhode Island. Late last night, it was learned by a post by Ken Block, advocate and former candidate for governor of RI, that Route 37 was having immediate attention and Mayor Hopkins says repairs are set to begin Friday morning.

Other Bridges

Work will begin on the Mt. Hope Bridge in March when travel will be restricted to one lane through May.

The Frosty Hollow Bridge in Exeter is closed for repairs.

Earlier this week a small local bridge, the Cahoone Road Bridge, in Coventry was immediately shut down due to structural concerns:

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1 Comment

  1. barry on February 23, 2024 at 5:57 pm

    it sounds as if there are several underlying problems: vehicles are getting heavier, I rarely see enforcement of truck weight regulations (and electric vehicles being heavier will make this worse) and this causes deterioration more rapidly; instead of prioritizing taking good care of existing infrastructure, RIDOT seems to have prioritized super-expensive highway capacity expansions such as widening I-95 north, the 6-10 intersection and now also widening Route 295 and projects on 146, totaling over $1 billion

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