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NARRAGANSETT- The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is planning to replace Narragansettâ€™s Great Island Bridge in the coming year.
The focus of the project is to replace the structurally deficient, load-restricted nine-span bridge, which extends Great Island Road over Point Judith Pond.
After an inspection of the bridge in April revealed increased deterioration of the timber deck, RIDOT completed repairs on May 7 to help return the bridge it to its original posting.
RIDOT Chief Public Affairs Officer Rosamaria Amoros said RIDOT is currently drafting plans to replace Great Island Bridge and is scheduled to advertise the project at the end of January 2014, pending approval of all necessary permits.
â€śThe project is considered an encroachment, but not a significant encroachment on the 100-year floodplain,â€ť said the Commander, First Coast Guard District in a public notice about the project dated July 8. â€śThis encroachment should improve existing conditions in that the navigational clearances will be increased and the number of in-water piers will be reduced from eight to two.â€ť
The new three-span bridge will be located on the existing bridge alignment and will be approximately 200 feet in length between abutments and 48.5 feet wide. The new bridge width will accommodate two 11-foot traffic lanes, two four-foot shoulders and two five-foot sidewalks.
Amoros said all parts of the existing bridge will be removed in their entirety with the exception of the abutments and the project will be conducted in a phased sequences.
â€śThe new Great Island Bridge will be built in two phases, with half of the existing bridge remaining open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic with a signal to safely guide traffic on and off of the island,â€ť said Amoros.
The project also required approval from the Coastal Resources Management Council, which was obtained at the councilâ€™s Oct. 22 meeting.