As part of its $11.7 million project to replace the Park Avenue Railroad Bridge – which carries Park Avenue (Route 12) over Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor between Elmwood Avenue (Route 1) and Wellington Avenue – both travel lanes will be shifted toward the eastbound side of the bridge starting on Tuesday, March 16. In mid-May, RIDOT will close the bridge completely for approximately four months for demolition and reconstruction.
During the first two months of construction RIDOT will build a temporary utility bridge, which must be finished before demolition can begin. Two-way traffic will be maintained during the day and on weekends, but overnight closures may be needed on Sunday-Thursday nights from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. When scheduled they will be posted at www.ridot.net/traveladvisories/#WestBay.
The detour uses Wellington Avenue and Elmwood Avenue to bypass the bridge. The estimated travel time is 6-10 minutes. RIDOT’s traffic engineers will adjust traffic signal timings along the detour route to keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible. A detour map for these night closures is available at www.ridot.net/DetourMaps.
The same detour for night closures will be used for all traffic once the bridge is closed in May. RIDOT will announce the precise closure date well in advance. Additionally, RIPTA will run a free shuttle around the bridge when it is fully closed.
RIDOT is taking steps to replace this bridge in as short a timeframe as possible. This includes the use of an early contractor involvement procurement method, in which a contractor is engaged early in the design process to identify the best solutions for construction prior to the start of work. Also, RIDOT is using accelerated bridge construction methods including the use of pre-fabricated bridge units (PBUs). Each PBU is composed of a concrete deck piece with two steel beams underneath it. The units are installed side-by-side to rapidly create a new bridge deck, saving considerable time compared to the conventional approach of forming and pouring a concrete bridge deck. These steps will allow the Department to complete the project up to three months faster than using conventional methods.
The Park Avenue Railroad Bridge is a structurally deficient wood deck bridge that dates back to 1906. It carries 15,000 vehicles per day and is a vital link for the Park Avenue business area. All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.
The replacement of the Park Avenue Railroad Bridge is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT’s ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.