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After many meetings with the local community, RIDOT developed a way to replace this bridge as quickly as possible and with minimum negative impact on the residents, businesses and commuters in the Bristol area. Utility work has already started at this site and when construction starts right after July 4 of this year, RIDOT will keep at least one lane of the bridge open to traffic throughout the entire construction season thereby eliminating the need to close the bridge entirely.
The Department will keep southbound traffic flowing on the bridge and detour northbound traffic during the times when only a single lane on the bridge will be open. RIDOT also expects to resume the seasonal ferry service to Bristol to help alleviate travel difficulties. RIDOT is offering incentives to the contractor for an earlier completion of the bridge work.
Other options such as building a temporary bridge for the original eight-week closure period and then tearing it down, or using the bike path bridge adjacent to the project, were determined to be too costly, too disruptive to an adjacent business, and would cause delays in project scheduling due to environmental permitting issues.