PAWTUCKET – The Garden Street Bridge over Interstate 95 was scheduled to reopen last week, the R.I. Department of Transportation announced.
The bridge had been closed since May 2011 for reconstruction as part of a larger project to replace the Pawtucket River Bridge on I-95.
Through an $81 million contract with S&R/Pihl, DOT is reconstructing nine bridges in the area of the Pawtucket River Bridge. Seven of the nine bridges are expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The next major bridge opening is expected in late fall 2012, when DOT will open a new span of the Pawtucket River Bridge and shift I-95 South traffic to it. The project will completely eliminate the 18-ton weight limit on the bridge.
DOT said it will shift the traffic pattern on the nearby George Street Bridge, which was restricted to southbound traffic only last year due to a rehabilitation project. Effective June 8, only northbound traffic will be allowed on the George Street Bridge. According to DOT, work on the George Street Bridge is expected to conclude in late 2012, at which time normal two-way traffic will be restored.
None of the changes will impact the existing truck detour for vehicles weighing more than 18 tons traveling on I-95 South.
Detour maps and turn-by-turn directions can be found on DOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov. Partly due to the number of one-way streets in the area, the detour routes are complex and require several turns to get around closed areas. •