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Sakonnet River Bridge Replacement Project

Bridge 550
Deck work advanced from east to west at the new Sakonnet River Bridge. This picture was taken in January 2012 looking toward the Portsmouth shore.

Construction is nearly complete on a $163.7 million project to replace the aging Sakonnet River Bridge, which carries Route 24 between Tiverton and Portsmouth.

RIDOT broke ground on the project in April 2009, and met a key milestone about three years later when it shifted traffic to the new bridge in September 2012. Final completion is expected in 2013.

The new bridge is 2,265 feet long and approximately 96 feet wide. Motorists will find two 12-foot lanes in each direction with wide shoulders. The bridge includes a planned 13-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian path on the north side of the bridge. For mariners, there is a wider passage under the bridge’s center span, and the new bridge will maintain the minimum vertical clearance over the river of 65 feet. The project also calls for a parking area and a boat ramp on the Tiverton side of the bridge.

The bridge includes a number of decorative and architectural features. These include LED-based lighting to illuminate the bridge’s piers in the river and light posts in the center median. RIDOT also included back-lighted bronze plaques on the approaches of the bridge that will depict the town seals of Portsmouth and Tiverton, as well as an anchor from the Rhode Island State Seal.

RIDOT was able to retain these design features even after a redesign in 2007 trimmed about $34 million from the project cost. A majority of the savings was achieved by lowering the profile of the bridge and constructing a large embankment for the eastern approach. This reduces approximately 470 feet of elevated roadway over land.

What's next?

All traffic on Route 24 now utilizes the new bridge, and RIDOT has removed the 18-ton weight limit for this section of Route 24.

RIDOT expects remaining construction activities to be finalized by late 2013.

In 2014, RIDOT expects to advertise for construction for the demolition of the old Sakonnet River Bridge.

Learn More

Press Release Archive


  • April 24, 2013 - FHWA approves Sakonnet River Bridge tolling proposal



  • November 27, 2012 - RIDOT hosting two informational workshops to discuss tolling of the Sakonnet river bridge
  • October 5, 2012 - Chafee, Reed, RIDOT Celebrate Official Opening of the New Sakonnet River Bridge
  • September 26, 2012 - Governor, RIDOT Announce Friday Opening of the New Sakonnet River Bridge to Route 24 SB Traffic
  • September 19, 2012 - New Sakonnet River Bridge to open to Route 24 North traffic tomorrow
  • May 31, 2012 - RIDOT to change traffic patterns on Route 24 near the Sakonnet River Bridge



  • September 30, 2011 - RIDOT to reopen center channel under the Sakonnet River Bridge
  • September 2, 2011 - RIDOT to close center channel and open temporary channel under the Sakonnet River Bridge
  • April 11, 2011 - RIDOT opening new alignment of Evans Avenue in Tiverton near Sakonnet River Bridge project



  • August 26, 2010 - RIDOT Concludes Pile Driving on Sakonnet River Bridge Project



  • July 24, 2009 - RIDOT Permanently Closing Central Avenue On-Ramp to Sakonnet River Bridge
  • April 24, 2009 - RIDOT breaks ground for new Sakonnet River Bridge
  • April 17, 2009 - RIDOT awards Sakonnet River Bridge project