Work continues to get westbound traffic flowing over I-195 bridge in RI

Washington Bridge closed westbound lanes
Rhode Island DOT

Work continues to get some westbound traffic flowing over the Washington Bridge on Interstate 195 in Rhode Island after part of the span was closed Monday, Dec. 12 when "a critical failure of some bridge components" was discovered during an unrelated construction project on the bridge. 

RIDOT said the failing components called anchor rods were identified by consultants during an inspection of the ongoing work but in an area that was not part of the reconstruction project. 

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation Wednesday said it has made significant progress on getting two lanes open on the eastbound side of the Washington Bridge for westbound traffic. RIDOT said it expects to open the bypass for use starting this weekend, well ahead of the initial two-week projection. All barriers needed for this change are on site and installation has started, according to a statement from RIDOT.

One westbound lane is available to some emergency vehicles on a limited basis by controlled access.

RELATED NEWS: Westbound lanes of I-195 bridge in Rhode Island closed by 'critical failure'

Officials estimated earlier this week that the complete reopening of westbound lanes on the bridge between Providence and East Providence could take as much as three months. The bridge carries some 96,000 vehicles a day over the Seekonk River.

RIDOT has created a dedicated web page for information about the closure at: www.ridot.net/WashingtonBridgeClosure. [r20.rs6.net] This website also has information for commuters, including a wide range of suggested detours. 

On Wednesday, Gov. Dan McKee was joined by Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, Providence Mayor Brett Smiley, Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, Colonel Darnell Weaver of the Rhode Island State Police, Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner, Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and Executive Director of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association Chief Sid Wordell provided an update on the all-hands-on-deck Washington Bridge response. 

“Right now, this is the number one priority,” said Governor Dan McKee. "We will continue to hold daily press briefings throughout the week to ensure Rhode Islanders have the most up-to-date information about our ongoing response.”